Cougars Finish in Fresno

Junior Ianeta Le`i was the only Cougar to get on base against Fresno State Friday afternoon at Bulldog Diamond. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

FRESNO -- BYU softball ended play at Bulldog Diamond at the NCAA Softball Regional Tournament losing to Fresno and Cal 3-0, 9-0 Friday.

BYU softball held Fresno State scoreless for four innings in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Softball Regionals, but Fresno stepped up in the fifth to beat the Cougars 0-3 Friday afternoon at Bulldog Diamond.

In the first inning, BYU Ianeta Le`i was the first and last to get on base for the Cougars as she kept a good eye on the ball and walked to first facing All-America pitcher Jamie Southern (ERA .40).

"Obviously her (Southern's) outside curve was pretty good and then she came out with the change up," Le`i said. "She was pitching real border line ball/strike."

Southern, a senior for the Bulldogs, has a career high of over 1,000 strikeouts and is one of the best pitchers BYU faced this season.

"I thought Jamie was exceptional throughout the entire game," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "She threw really well and we expected that out of her. I expected we would get some hits off her, too."

BYU had some nice defense this afternoon. Cougar right fielder senior Ariel Capra (.471 Avg.) made a nice diving catch for the Cougars in the top of the fifth inning. However, Fresno's Christina Clark hit a line drive down the left side allowing one runner in. Fresno pitcher Jamie Southern popped a deep ball to center running in two more Bulldogs giving them a 3-0 advantage over the Cougars.

BYU freshman Daniella Urincho threw four strikeouts in 5.1 innings for the Cougars and was then replaced by junior Brooke Boyce.

The crowd was quite surprised to see BYU pitcher Brooke Boyce take some warm-up pitches with her unique style as she replaced Urincho in the top of the sixth inning. Boyce stoops forward, head almost touching her knee as she winds up to take her pitch. She stuck out the first batter she faced and held them scoreless, but Cougar offense couldn't get a hit off Southern.

After the emotional high and low of yesterday with the win against No. 2 Cal and suffering Cougar Emi Snow's injury at the plate, some speculated the Cougars weren't quite into the game, but Coach Eakin said, Fresno simply did a great job.

"We had some players who were a little emotional and didn't sleep well last night with Emi's accident, but Fresno did well," Eakin said. "They deserve credit for this game."

Friday night was quite a different game for BYU than the night before against Cal when BYU beat the Bears 3-1.

The Cougars used three of their pitchers against the Bears, but Cal was able to get nine runs, five in the second inning, as they beat the Cougars 9-0.

"It's been a great ride through all the injuries, winning the Mountain West Conference and playing in this tournament," BYU head coach Eakin said. "I'm proud of the girls and we'll be back."

The Cougars will retire this season as the MWC champions and Cal moved on to the Regional championships Saturday as it faces Fresno at 3:00 p.m. at Bulldog Diamond. The winner of this Regional will head to NCAA Super Regionals next Friday and Saturday.

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