Cougars Start Cathedral Classic 1-1

Sophomore Katie Manuma contributed in both BYU games on Thursday.

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The BYU softball team came from behind in each of its two games at the Cathedral City Classic on Thursday but managed to get one win on the day, losing to No. 21 Oklahoma State, 3-2, before defeating Pacific, 3-2.

Jessica Dugas had three hits and two runs on the day while Delaney Willard was 3 for 3 with one walk and one RBI despite having to leave the first game early with heatstroke.

Down 1-0 after five innings, BYU fought back to take a one-run lead in the top of the fifth beginning with a two-out single by Dugas. Alexandra Hudson followed the junior with her own single that, along with a throwing error by the Cowgirl first baseman, helped score Dugas to tie the game.

After Hudson reached third on a passed ball, Katie Manuma knocked the Cougars' third consecutive single to bring Hudson home and give BYU its first lead of the game.

The lead was shortlived. With two outs and two on, Oklahoma State's Tarah Ettinger got the lead back with a double that scored both runners.

"We're not going to win if we don't come out and compete," said BYU coach Gordon Eakin. "We can't just show up and except to win."

BYU's Krista Hicks drew a one-out walk in the top of the seventh inning to represent the tying run, but the Cougars couldn't manage another base runner the remainder of the inning.

The Cougars played solid defense, turning two double plays in the game. In the second inning, Dugas caught a hit ball then fired to Manuma to get the runner for the first before Carly Duckworth nabbed a fly ball in center field and fired to Manuma for the second out.

Junior pitcher Hannah Howell pitched 5.0 innings and recorded three strikeouts in the no-decision. Freshman Caroline Umphlett gave up one run on one hit in 1.0 innings pitched for the first loss of her career, bringing her season record to 4-1.

Game Two

BYU again fell behind in its second game of the day, but the Cougars' comeback held up against Pacific.

"Our effort was a lot better in the second game," Eakin said.

Down 2-0 going into the fifth, BYU matched the Tigers' total in the top of the inning. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases, setting up Manuma who hit a hard grounder that forced an error by the shortstop and brought in Bailie Hicken from third.

Senior Stacie Toney further took advantage of the extended inning by hitting the first pitch she saw to left field, this time bringing in JC Clayton to tie the game.

Howell came on in the bottom of the fifth for starter Tori Almond who went 4.0 innings with four strikeouts. Pacific managed to load the bases, but the BYU defense again pulled through with a double play as Hicks caught a ball at third base and tagged the runner formerly on third for the last out of the inning.

The Cougars' game-winning run came in the sixth set up by a walk by Dugas and singles by Hicken and Clayton. A sacrifice fly to right field by Willard was enough to bring Dugas in and put BYU on top.

Howell earned the win to go to 3-1 on the year after allowing no runs, no walks and three hits over the final three innings. Clayton, Dugas, Hicken, Madisen Robb and Willard each had two hits apiece, helping BYU outhit the Tigers, 11-7.

After striking out 10 times against Oklahoma State, BYU didn't strike out at all against Pacific.

BYU will play No. 1 Florida, which split games on Thursday with a win over Texas A&M and a loss to Washington, and No. 14 Texas A&M which dropped both of its games, losing to the Gators and then New Mexico. 

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