Cougars' Season Ends After Two Close Games

BYU's Summer Tobias ptiched three games in two days during the Cougars' NCAA Regional Tournament run. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Facing elimination in the NCAA Softball Regional Tournament, BYU defeated Southern Utah Friday afternoon 5-4, only to fall 2-1 to Kansas in the nightcap, ending the Cougars' season.

"It's been a roller coaster ride this year because we all thought we had a legitimate chance to go far this year," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "I think our program is at a national level. The hard part is trying to stay there."

Both pitchers started off hot as BYU's Summer Tobias retired the first six batters she faced while SUU's Corie Jensen held the Cougars scoreless through four innings.

Tobias carried a no-hitter into the fourth when SUU came alive. After Tiffany Burt and Kortny Hall recorded singles, an error by BYU's Andrea Ramirez led to bases loaded with only one out. Amy Sauer singled to score one run, and another runner was called out at the plate to leave runners at first and third with two outs. Jentry Johnson, Jensen and Rodeo Carli singled as well to score three more runs and help SUU to take a 4-0 lead.

BYU scattered four hits through four innings without scoring a run, but things heated up in the fifth for Cougars as they responded to SUU's burst. A single by Emi Snow put runners at first and second with one out. Ianeta Le'i loaded the bases with a single, and another single by Ashlyn Russell scored two runs and left runners at first and third. The Cougars' inning ended quickly, though, when Paige Paramore, who previously had two of the four Cougar hits in the game, lined out to third, and Russell was caught off first to complete the double play.

Down 2-4, BYU's Cortney Nix smacked a single in the sixth to begin a two-out rally. Tracee Hoch doubled to score Nix and make it a one-run game. Andrea Ramirez tied the game with a single to score Hoch in a close play at the plate.

With the game on the line, BYU's Daniella Urincho doubled in the top of the seventh, and Jana Anderson came in to pinch run. A single by Nix scored Anderson in another close play at the plate to give the Cougars the winning run and eliminate SUU from the tournament.

BYU ended the game with five runs, 12 hits and two errors. SUU had four runs, six hits and no errors. The Cougars left ten runners on base throughout the game compared to only two for the Thunderbirds.

The Cougars' second game of the day and second game against Kansas was a classic pitching duel. BYU's Tobias, pitching her third game in two days, mowed the Jayhawks down in the first inning by striking out Stevie Crisosto and Serena Settlemier.

BYU jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first when Le'i hit a two-out single, and Ashlyn Russell brought her home with a double. However, that was the last run the Cougars would score this season.

Kansas' Kassie Humphreys allowed only one hit to the Cougars in Thursday's game, but gave up two in the first inning of Friday night's game. In the second inning, however, Humphreys found a groove and sat the Cougars down in order.

Tobias and Humphreys battled throughout the whole game until trouble started for the Cougars in the fifth. Kansas' Nettie Fierros led off the inning with a single, and Humphreys moved Fierros to second on a sacrifice bunt. Doubles from Nicole Washburn and Val Chapple gave the Jayhawks the lead, 2-1.

The Cougars responded with a single by Snow in the sixth inning. The hit brought Krystle Chamberlain around to yet another close play at the plate where Chamberlain was called out. Paramore singled after that with a runner on second, but the Cougars did not risk another possible close out at the plate. With two outs and runners at first and third, Jodi Norton flied out to first base, ending the Cougar sixth and a legitimate shot to tie the game.

Going into the seventh inning, both teams had six hits and no errors. The Jayhawks were up 2-1, but the Cougars did not give up.

Tobias made quick work of Kansas in the top of the seventh, leaving the Cougars only three outs to keep their tournament hopes alive. Nix flied out to first base for the first out of the inning, but Hoch walked on a seven-pitch at-bat to put the tying run at first with one out. Ramirez flied to right, bringing Monica Gonzales to the plate with two outs. Gonzales fired the Cougars up with an infield single with the Kansas crowd chanting "Jayhawks". Le'i, the Cougars' best slugger and Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, came to the plate with the tying run at second and the winning run on first. Hopes were high, but Le'i went down looking at an off-speed pitch from Humphreys.

The Jayhawks ended the game with two runs, six hits and no errors. The Cougars had one run on eight hits and no errors.

"We actually had the change picked up," Eakin said. "We were trying to yell it to her [Le'i], but the crowd was so loud she couldn't hear it."

Although Le'i was the last out of the season, Eakin wouldn't have chosen anyone but Le'i to keep the Cougar fight alive.

"I'd take that situation again," Eakin said. "It could have been a storybook ending."

Eakin also lauded his ace pitcher and exiting senior Summer Tobias as well.

"Summer was the heart and soul of this team over the last month," Eakin said. "We're going to try to figure out a way to bring her back for another year."


2006 Kansas Softball

#24 Kansas at BYU

May 19, 2006 at Provo, Utah (Miller Field)

Kansas 2 (36-25)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

------------------------------------------------------

Chapple, Val 3b.......... 4 0 1 1 0 0 2 2 0

Crisosto, Stevie cf...... 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0

Settlemier, Serena dh.... 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2

Frankenstein,Destiny ss.. 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2

Moppin, Jessica 2b....... 3 0 0 0 0 1 3 1 0

Stanley, Heather rf...... 2 0 1 0 1 1 2 0 0

Fierros, Nettie lf....... 3 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1

Wilson, Betsy lf........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Humphreys, Kassie p...... 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1

Washburn, Nicole 1b/pr... 3 0 2 1 0 0 6 0 0

Goodrich, Ashley pr..... 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Craner, Tiffany c........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 0

Totals................... 26 2 6 2 2 6 21 5 6

BYU 1 (43-22)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

------------------------------------------------------

RAMIREZ ss............... 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 0

GONZALES lf.............. 4 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 2

LE`I 1b.................. 3 1 1 0 1 1 6 0 2

CHAMBERLAIN pr.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

RUSSELL dh............... 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

PLATT pr................ 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

SNOW cf/rf............... 3 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 1

PARAMORE rf/cf........... 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

WHITELEY cf............. 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

ANDERSON pr............. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

KENNEDY rf.............. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

NORTON 3b................ 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 2

NIX c.................... 3 0 0 0 0 1 6 0 0

HOCH 2b.................. 2 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 0

TOBIAS p................. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0

Totals................... 27 1 8 1 2 4 21 9 8

Score by Innings R H E

-----------------------------------------

Kansas.............. 000 020 0 - 2 6 0

BYU................. 100 000 0 - 1 8 0

-----------------------------------------

LOB - KU 6; BY 8. 2B - Chapple; Washburn; RUSSELL. SH - Humphreys; PLATT.

Kansas IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

-----------------------------------------------

Humphreys, Kassie... 7.0 8 1 1 2 4 27 30

BYU IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

-----------------------------------------------

TOBIAS.............. 7.0 6 2 2 2 6 26 29

Win - Humphreys (19-16). Loss - TOBIAS (26-13). Save - None.

Umpires - HP: Doug Zimmerman 1B: Ed Rado 3B: Willie Neuman

Start: 7:50 pm Time: 1:30 Attendance: 480

Tags: Results

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