LAS VEGAS—The BYU softball team led heading into the seventh inning of both its games at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park on Friday but squandered both of its leads to go 0-2 on the day, losing 7-3 to Oregon State and 6-5 to Louisiana Monroe.
“Our team fought hard today against two very good teams to take multiple run leads into the seventh inning of both games,” said head coach Gordon Eakin. “With just three outs to go and the lead, our pitchers could not get the job done.Our veteran pitching staff needs to step up and close the door in those situations.”
BYU (3-4) put pressure on Oregon State (5-3) early, scoring one run on three hits to start the game, but a six-run seventh inning from OSU lifted the Beavers to a 7-3 victory. Katie Manuma went 2 for 3 in the outing and hit her second home run of the season to bring in all three Cougar RBI in the game.
Hannah Howell struck out two OSU batters to set up a one run bottom of the first for the Cougars. JC Clayton spurred the score on a single to shortstop, but was called out at second on a fielder’s choice from Lacey Millett. However, after stealing her third base of the tournament, Millett put herself in scoring position for Manuma’s single to bring her across the plate for the first Cougar run.
Both teams remained scoreless heading into the fourth. The Cougars held the Beavers to no runs in the top of the frame and sealed the inning with a 6-4-3 double play, their third of the season and tournament.
Oregon State’s Ally Kutz tied the game up in the top of the fifth with a solo shot to center field, but BYU answered in the bottom of the sixth with two runs of its own off a smash from Manuma to center field.
The Cougars were three outs away from the 3-1 victory, but Oregon State responded with a six-run inning to hand BYU its fourth loss of the season. Up to that point, Howell had pitched a three-hit game and allowed only one run. After giving up a single and a double to start the inning, Tori Almond came in relief of Howell and gave up a three-run homer to her first batter faced. The Beavers scored three more runs in the inning and sat down the first three Cougar batters in the bottom of the inning to seal the 7-3 victory.
In the second game against Louisiana Monroe (4-1), the Cougars (3-5) fell behind 3-0 early. The team battled back to grab a 5-3 lead heading into the seventh, highlighted by a three-run home run from Madisen Robb, her first of the year. Alexandra Hudson Shamo and Clayton also had two hits apiece.
At the start of the bottom of the seventh inning, the lead-off batter for the Warhawks smashed a home run to cut the Cougar lead to one. With a runner on second base, a hard single forced a Cougar error and brought in both the game-tying run and walk-off win for ULM.
The Cougars will look to redeem their losses tomorrow against Cal State Fullerton at 11:15 a.m. PST and Porland State at 1:30 p.m. PST. The Cal State game will be available on live stats and the Portland State game will be aired live on Portland State All Access.