(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – A well-rounded team effort helped No. 20 BYU softball take down Utah State 4-1 for the Cougars' final home game of the season on Tuesday night at Gail Miller Field.
"Our focus remains one pitch at a time, one game at a time, and we did that again tonight, " BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "We put together a solid game in all three areas: offense, defense and pitching."
BYU (42-10, 12-0 West Coast Conference) extended its win streak to 21 games and had four runs on five hits while holding Utah State (32-16, 14-9 Mountain West) to just three hits and one run. Sophomore Libby Sugg led the team with two RBI. With the win, the Cougars finish the season with a 16-0 record at home, the second time in BYU softball history the team went undefeated in Provo. The other undefeated home record occurred in 2011.
BYU vs. Utah State Box Score
In the bottom of the first inning, Sugg singled to left center and earned two RBI by bringing Lauren Bell and Rylee Jensen home. First baseman Ashley Thompson followed with a solo hit to right field to advance Sugg to third, but she was left on base as the Aggies kept the Cougars at a 2-0 advantage.
The next three innings were quiet until the Aggies threatened to score in the top of the fourth frame. Victoria Saucedo singled to left field but was left stranded as BYU pitcher McKenna Bull notched another strikeout to close the inning.
BYU recorded its third run of the game when shortstop Alexa Strid tripled to right field in the bottom of the fourth and ran home on a wild pitch. Brooke Vander Heide increased the Cougars’ lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning as she scored off a fielder’s choice from Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge.
The Aggies scored their first and only run of the game in the top of the sixth as Jazmin Clarke crossed home plate on a Saucedo single. The run ended Bulll’s record of 57.2-consecutive scoreless pitched innings, a record that began during the last matchup between the Cougars and the Aggies on April 5.
Bull closed out BYU’s 4-0 victory, making Utah State go three up, three down in the top of the seventh. She finished the game with nine strikeouts and just one walk.
The Cougars travel to California to finish regular season play on the road in a three-game series against Saint Mary’s starting on Friday, May 12, at 3 p.m. PDT.