(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Behind two home runs off the bat of sophomore slugger Lexi Tarrow, No. 20/21 BYU softball rallied to defeat Utah Valley 12-4 on a rainy Wednesday at Gail Miller Field in the Utah Community Credit Union Crosstown Clash.
“I thought we started slow, but I really liked the way our team responded,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “We stayed confident and I was really impressed with the total play of the game. It was all done in a calm, confident atmosphere even when we were behind.”
After falling behind 4-0, BYU (33-10, 6-0 West Coast Conference) mounted an impressive comeback, scoring 12 unanswered runs to defeat the Wolverines (12-21, 4-8 Western Athletic Conference) in six innings after the run-rule was put into effect on Tarrow's walk-off bomb. As a team, the Cougars hit five home runs, the most this season and the most in a single game since 2010 against Southern Utah. The three homers hit in the second inning were the most in a single frame since 2015 when BYU did it against Pacific, also in the second inning.
The two home runs were part of Tarrow's 4-for-5 effort, adding three runs and three RBI on the night. Senior Lauren Bell, junior Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge and freshman Rylee Jensen also homered in the game. As a team, BYU totaled 15 hits and 13 RBI while also drawing six walks.
Senior McKenna Bull earned her 22nd victory of the season after entering the game in relief for starter Arissa Paulson. Bull pitched five innings, striking out seven batters and allowing just one hit and no runs. Bull now holds a new school record with 27-consecutive scoreless innings pitched.
BYU vs. UVU Box Score
In the first inning, the Wolverines produced a baserunner with two outs in the first after Brittney Vansway drew a walk. The next batter blasted a fly ball over the centerfield wall and UVU took an early 2-0 lead. Following another walk, Basia Query knocked a ball off the left field wall for a stand-up triple to extend the lead and Utah Valley led 3-0 after the first half inning of play.
After two Wolverine hitters drew walks to start off the second inning, Bull entered the game in relief for Paulson. UVU’s Caragh Morris blooped a single into shallow left field to score the runner on third for the Wolverines' fourth run of the night. Bull retired the next three batters and UVU maintained a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, BYU responded with a monster inning, scoring seven runs on seven hits. Jensen started the rally by blasting a bomb out of the park for her fourth deep ball of the year to put BYU on the scoreboard. Brooke Vander Heide reached on a bunt single and Tarrow hit her first home run of the night to left center to bring the Cougars within one run. Two batters later, Alldredge blasted another two-run shot, her eighth homer of the season, and BYU took a 5-4 advantage.
Libby Sugg and Ashley Thompson continued the hit parade with back-to-back singles and Alexa Strid drew a walk to load the bases with just one out still in the bottom of the second. Jensen knocked a grounder up the middle for BYU’s seventh hit of the inning, bringing two more runs home. The Cougars ended the inning with a 7-4 lead.
The Wolverines went quietly in the third with a scoreless half-inning and BYU added to its lead after Bell hit a line drive out of the park to give the Cougars an 8-4 edge. Two Cougars reached on walks and Stridd singled to score Sugg from second. BYU closed the third inning with a 9-4 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth with two outs and two runners on base, Sugg doubled off the wall in right center to scroe two more runs for BYU, making the score 11-4.
After a scoreless fifth inning by both teams, Tarrow homered again, this time to dead center in the bottom of the sixth, bringing the run-rule into effect and giving BYU the 12-4 walk-off victory.
The Cougars remain at home for a three-game home stand this weekend against San Diego. The first game of Friday’s doubleheader will begin at 5 p.m. MDT with the second game scheduled to start at 7 p.m. MDT.