(Photo by BYU Photo)
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – A defensive battle resulted in BYU softball dropping a 3-0 decision against No. 2 Auburn in its final game of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge on Saturday morning.
"Arissa (Paulson) pitched a great game today. Offensively, we had our chances but couldn't get that key hit," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "Our pitching staff was very good for this weekend against great competition. We had just two bad innings in four games. Defensively, we performed at a very high level, along with some very good individual performances offensively as well."
BYU vs. Auburn Box Score
In the loss, BYU (2-2, 0-0 West Coast Conference) out-hit 2016 national runner-up Auburn (3-1, 0-0 SEC) 5-3. The Tigers also had two errors, while the Cougars have yet to commit an error in 2017.
Freshman Arissa Paulson made her collegiate debut against the Tigers. She pitched a complete game, throwing six strikeouts and giving up just three hits. At the plate Lauren Bell and Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge both went 2 for 3. The only other hit in the game came from Libby Sugg.
After BYU went three up, three down to start the game, Auburn got two runners on base. But Paulson threw a strikeout to get the third out and keep it tied 0-0 after one inning.
The Tigers got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. They scored three runs off of a couple of singles up the middle. Auburn led BYU 3-0 heading into the fifth.
In the top of the fifth, Alldredge hit a single to start off the Cougars. However, with runners on first and second, BYU was unable to get any home. The defense held the score at 3-0, with Rylee Jensen catching all three outs in left field.
Singles from Bell and Sugg sparked some momentum in the top of the sixth. But once again, the Cougars were unable to advance a runner past second, keeping the score 3-0. A strikeout from Paulson and strong infield defense made it a quick bottom of the sixth, the Tigers going three up, three down.
The last effort in the seventh fell short, and BYU dropped the last game of the tournament, 3-0.
The Cougars will travel to Las Vegas next week to participate in the DeMarini Desert Classic from February 16-18, playing five games.