SALT LAKE CITY -- Playing in the final games of its inaugural season, the BYU softball team split a doubleheader with in-state and conference rival Utah Saturday in Salt Lake City. The Cougars won the first game in 12 innings, 7-4, before dropping the second, 7-5.
In game one, the Cougars jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first off an RBI single by freshman Brooke Cadiente. BYU was helped out by a few key Ute errors to score two unearned runs in the top of the fourth, but returned the favor with some misplays of their own to allow two unearned Ute runs in the fourth and fifth. Headed into the sixth inning, the game was deadlocked at 4-4 and remained that way for five more innings. Finally, four hours after the first pitch, the Cougars scored three in the top of the 12th inning, including two runs off a Cassie Martin single, to claim the 7-4 win. BYU pitcher Maryon Dewitt and Utah's Kristin Arbogast each went the distance for their respective teams. The game was BYU's fourth extra-inning contest against a conference rival and its second against league-leading Utah this season. After coming up short in each of those meetings, BYU secured the first extra-inning victory of its history with the win.
Game two was equally as competitive, as both teams scored in the same innings throughout the game. Inning one saw each team advance runners across the plate thanks to infield errors, and in the third, Utah answered a BYU run with two of its own. The teams traded runs again in the fourth, and in the sixth, Utah scored three runs to BYU's two to earn the 7-5 victory. Third baseman Megan Johnson went a perfect 2-for-2 from the plate to lead the Cougars, while the Utes were aided by Sunny Smith's 2-for-2, 3 RBI performance. Smith hit a home run in the game to take over the school's season record for home runs with 17. Jeannette Herbert got the win for the Utes, while BYU's Lindsay Jones took the loss to fall to 3-3 on the year.
BYU ended its first regular season with a 16-25, 7-13 MWC record. The Utes, first in the conference headed into the weekend, ended the season at 36-21, 15-5 MWC. The Cougars will participate in the inaugural Mountain West Conference Championship tournament May 11-13 at Ute Field in Salt Lake City. The double-elimination tournament begins Thursday, with the Cougars likely to take the fifth seed.