CSUB avoids sweep on day two, splits games with BYU

Umphlett grabbed the win in game one for the Cougars.

PROVO, Utah –The BYU softball team grabbed an 8-5 comeback win in game one against CSU Bakersfield on Saturday at Gail Miller Field, but couldn’t produce offense in game two, falling 3-1 to split games with the Roadrunners.

BYU still remains atop the Pacific Coast Softball Conference with a 15-5 record and a 26-23 overall, while CSU Bakersfield improves to 15-31 and 10-14 in conference play.

Game 1

CSU Bakersfield held a 3-0 lead through the first four innings but BYU fought back, scoring eight runs in the fifth and sixth, for an 8-5 final and the win.

After two scoreless innings, CSU Bakersfield struck first. With one out in the top of the third, Roadrunner Karissa Veiga doubled to advance her teammate. Cougar pitcher Hannah Howell struck out the next batter, but Laura King's hit to center field brought in both runners to give CSU Bakersfield a 2-0 advantage.

BYU's Lacey Millett did her best to get the Cougars on the board, getting a single and then stealing two bases, but was stranded on third in the bottom of the third.  

Not letting up, the Roadrunners scored again in the fourth with a RBI sacrifice fly from Madison Bundy to bring in teammate Shay Fryer.

CSU Bakersfield got two singles to start the fifth inning, and after BYU switched pitchers to Caroline Umphlett, King walked to load the bases. With the Roadrunners poised to put more runs on the board, BYU's Gordy Bravo made a great catch in the outfield to strand all three runners and hold the score at 3-0.

The Cougars took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Bravo had an RBI-single to right field and Katie Manuma had two RBI with a two-bagger to left center. Carly Duckworth came in to run for Manuma, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored after Alexandra Hudson Shamo blooped a single over the third baseman's head. BYU went up 4-3 at the start of the sixth.

BYU carried the momentum into the sixth inning, scoring four more runs for an 8-3 lead. Clayton, Jenna Goar and Bravo all had RBIs while Madisen Robb, Bailie Hicken, Goar and Bravo each scored in the inning.

CSUB's Sydney Raeber had two RBI in the seventh inning to try and regain the lead but BYU held out for the 8-5 victory. Umphlett earned her second win in as many days to improve to 3-1 on the season.

Game 2

BYU out-hit CSU Bakersfield 5-2 in the game, but the Roadrunners took advantage of seven walks to avoid the sweep.

Tori Almond sat down the first three batters she faced to start game two, striking out the first and third batters and forcing a ground ball that was fielded by third baseman Robb. In the bottom of the first, however, the Roadrunners followed suit with three consecutive outs of their own.

The game stayed quiet in the second and third. BYU's JC Clayton was able to grab the team's first hit of the day on a bouncer up the middle.

In the top of the fourth, CSU Bakerfield’s King drove the ball down the left-field line and then Almond walked the next two batters to load the bases.  With two outs, Manuma came to the mound to replace Almond. Manuma hit the first batter and walked the second, which advanced two runners to give CSU Bakersfield the 2-0 lead. With the bases still loaded, Almond came back to the mound and forced a line drive to first base for out number three.

The Roadrunners added a security run in the top of the sixth. With a runner on second and two outs, Howell, who had come in relief of Almond, surrendered a double that scored the run to put CSU Bakersfield up 3-0.

Hicken led off the bottom of the frame with an infield single, but BYU’s offense couldn’t back her up to head into the seventh without a run on the board.

BYU looked to start a comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Manuma singled to right center and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Shamo singled on an 0-2 count to place runners on the corners and then Taualii pushed in the first run for BYU on a single to left field. Robb gave up the first out on a batter’s interference, but was followed by a walk to Goar to load the bases. However, CSU Bakersfield held strong and got the next two outs to avoid the sweep in its last conference series of the season.

BYU will play a doubleheader on Tuesday against Southern Utah at home starting at 5 p.m. MDT.

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