(Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)
LOGAN, Utah—A four-run fifth inning allowed the BYU softball team to shut out Utah State 5-0 and keep its 11-game win streak alive against the Aggies on Wednesday at Johnson Softball Field.
The Cougars (17-20, 6-2 PCSC) had just five hits in the game, but a three-run blast from Madisen Robb helped BYU to the 5-0 victory. Utah State falls to 8-30 on the season (2-7 WAC).
BYU was able to scrap out a run in the top of the third to take the 1-0 lead over the Aggies.
Carly Duckworth walked to start the inning and advanced to third following a sacrifice bunt from Gordy Bravo and a groundout from Katie Manuma. Alexandra Hudson Shamo walked to place runners on the corners and Jenna Goar smacked a hard single to the pitcher to extend her hitting streak to four games and score Duckworth for BYU’s first run. She stole second and was followed by Coco Taualii, who was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
However, a strikeout from USU’s Mandy Harmon sealed the inning with three runners left on for BYU.
After giving up two singles in the first inning, Hannah Howell settled in and sat down the first three batters in order in the second and third. She earned the win to improve to 7-13 on the season after giving up just two hits in three innings of work.
In the bottom of the fourth, Tori Almond came in relief of Howell and Mylee Davis entered the game for Anna Hudson behind the plate. Almond surrendered a single to the first batter she faced for just the third Aggie hit of the game, but the Cougars held strong defensively to hold USU off the plate.
BYU broke the game open in the top of the fifth, highlighted by the three-run shot from Robb. A Manuma single to start the inning and a free pass to Shamo on a hit by pitch placed runners on second and third following a groundout from Goar. Ashlee Brawley Robinson then pushed a single through the left side on a pinch hit that scored Manuma. Robb followed with her second three-run home run of the season to give BYU the 5-0 lead.
Almond sat down the Aggies in order in the bottom of the frame to hold the shutout heading into the sixth.
In the bottom of the seventh, Caroline Umphlett came in for her first appearance since Feb. 23 and got two-straight outs, before allowing Utah State to hit its first extra-base hit of the ball game with a double. However, Umphlett was able to force a groundout to end the inning and the game.
BYU will play next in a conference series against Loyola Marymount with doubleheaders on Friday starting at 5 p.m. MDT and Saturday starting at 1 p.m. MDT at Gail Miller Field. Saturday's games will be broadcast on BYUtv.