(Photo by BYU Photo)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Behind season-high numbers in hits and runs, No. 20 BYU softball defeated Santa Clara in the series finale 19-5 in five innings to complete the series sweep and maintain a perfect 12-0 West Coast Conference record.
“We came out ready to play today," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "Our offensive output was much better than yesterday. We need to go back home, work on a few things and keep playing well."
BYU (40-10, 12-0 WCC) has now won 40 games after this win against Santa Clara (12-37, 4-11 WCC), making this year the 10th season in program history with 40-plus wins. The Cougars have won 19 in a row, which is the longest win streak in BYU history. Additionally, the 11 runs scored in the top of the first ties for the second-most runs scored in a single inning at BYU. It was the third inning in program history with 11 runs, the first since playing Saint Mary’s in 2013.
The Cougars reached a season high in multiple categories in the victory. The 19 runs scored, 17 hits and 18 RBI are all season-bests, while the four doubles ties the season-high achieved in two other games. The 19 runs also ties for the fourth most in BYU history, the most since notching 19 against Southern Utah in 2008.
Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge’s hot hitting continued in the series finale today, going 3 for 3 with two RBI and three runs. This is her second perfect-hitting game of the weekend. Freshman Rylee Jensen also had a strong outing, going 3 for 4 with three runs and an RBI. Ashley Thompson and Libby Sugg both had a team-high four RBI, which is a season-best for Thompson.
In the circle, McKenna Bull got the start, pitching just one inning to improve her scoreless innings pitched streak to 52. Kerisa Viramontes pitched one inning as well, earning the win, while Arianna Paulson tossed three innings to pick up the save.
BYU at Santa Clara Box Score
The Cougar offense came out strong to start the game. Batting through the order, the team scored 11 runs on nine hits in the first inning, three of which were earned. With Jensen and Lauren Bell on second and first, Alldredge drilled a double down the left field line to bring in the first run. In the following at bat, Sugg slammed a home run over left field to score three runs.
BYU kept pouring on the pressure in the opening frame as singles from Alexa Strid and Lexi Tarrow set up Briielle Breland. She reached on an error, allowing Strid time to run home. An RBI single from Brooke Vander Heide then scored Tarrow. With the bases loaded, Alldredge singled to left field, bringing home Vander Heide for the seventh run. After Sugg was walked to bring in Jensen, Thompson tripled to left center, scoring three more. The first inning ended with BYU earning a dominating 11-0 lead.
The Broncos came charging back in the bottom of the second with Viramontes in the circle. Santa Clara scored four runs on five hits, including a two-run single that was aided by an error in the outfield. The score was 11-4 after two innings.
In the bottom of the third, Paulson came in to pitch for BYU. The Broncos added one more run, but Paulson fanned the next batter to end the inning. The Cougars held an 11-5 lead after three.
After being held scoreless for two innings, BYU scored three more runs in the top of the fourth. A single from Jensen and doubles from both McKenzie St. Clair and Bell scored one run each, pushing the lead to 14-5.
The top of the fifth opened up with three-straight singles for the Cougars, including an RBI single to right field from Thompson to bring in Alldredge. Tarrow was later walked with the bases loaded to score Ashley Godfrey to force a Broncos pitching change. With the bases loaded again, Madison Merrell came up to bat and hit a bases-clearing double to left-field fence, extending the lead to 19-5.
Santa Clara got a runner to third in the bottom of the fifth, but the BYU defense held her there, earning the 19-5 run-rule win after five innings.
BYU is back in action on Monday at Gail Miller Field for a matchup with Utah Valley in the UCCU Crosstown Clash at 5 p.m. MDT.