Cougars win extra-inning thriller, lose first conference game

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey)

OREM, Utah –The BYU women's softball team split a doubleheader with conference foe Utah Valley University Friday night at Wolverine Field.

The Cougars (15-19, 5-1 PCSC) won in the eighth inning in game one and the Wolverines (23-13, 6-4 PCSC) won game two on a walk-off, two-run homerun in the seventh inning.

Game 1

Ashlee Brawley Robinson went 3 for 4 in the game and singled in the winning run in the eighth inning to lead the Cougars to a 2-1 victory over UVU in game one of the doubleheader.

Alexandra Hudson Shamo drew a walk to start off the eighth and Lacey Millett was brought on as a pinch runner. Bailie Hicken laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Millett to second. A grounder to the pitcher by Jenna Goar moved Millett to third with two outs. Robinson then stroked her single to right to score Millett and give the Cougars a 2-1 lead.

In the bottom half of the inning, Katie Manuma was brought on in relief for starter Hannah Howell. After two quick groundouts, UVU hit a double to left to get into scoring position. Manuma kept her composure and struck out the final batter to earn her fourth save of the year.

Howell (6-12) scattered six hits over seven innings to earn the win.

In a defensive struggle early on, BYU got on the board first in the second inning. With two outs, Coco Taualii was hit by a pitch and Robinson singled up the middle to put Tauali’i into scoring position. Anna Hudson smacked a single up the middle for just her second hit of the season to score Taualii and give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.

The Wolverines tied the game two innings later in the fourth when Jamie North singled up the middle with two outs to score Dynasty Lauvai. 

After the fourth inning, both teams locked down on defense and didn’t allow a runner to reach second base until the final frame of the game.

In the sixth and seventh innings, each side was retired in order to set up Robinson's heroics in the extra inning.

Game 2

A three-run rally in the top of the seventh fell short as the BYU softball team was defeated by UVU 6-4 in the second game of a twin bill.

Debra Lovell hit a walk-off, two-run homerun in the bottom of the seventh after the Cougars had tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the inning.

Gordy Bravo tied the game in the top of the seventh inning on a two-out three-run homerun to centerfield. The home run was the first of the season for Bravo and the first of her career.

Goar singled to left to start the rally. Hicken was sent in as a pinch runner for Goar. Millett reached on a throwing error by the UVU shortstop and the two runners were both able to advance a base. Bravo stepped up to the plate and smacked the 0-1 pitch over the wall to send the game into extra innings for the second straight game.

Manuma (1-1) was credited with the loss after relieving Carly Duckworth in the seventh.

With two outs in the third inning, two UVU singles sandwiched two doubles as the Wolverines scored three runs to take a 3-0 lead.

The Cougars responded in the top of the fourth, adding one run and cutting the lead to 3-1. Manuma smacked a leadoff double to left center. Shamo was walked on four-straight pitches and a single from Duckworth loaded the bases. Taualii stroked a sac fly to left field to score Manuma.

The Wolverines answered in the bottom of that same inning to take a three-run advantage and set up the game for  another exciting finish.        

BYU and UVU return to action tomorrow for another doubleheader at Wolverine Field. The first game begins at 1 p.m. MDT and the second game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. MDT. 

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