PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – McKenzie St. Clair and Alexa Strid both had two-run singles as BYU softball survived for a 7-5 win over Nevada Thursday afternoon in day one of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge.
The BYU win at Nancie Almaraz Field in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, marks the first game in NCAA softball history played outside the United States.
“It was a good win today under different playing conditions,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “We got off to a good start offensively, but I think the hot weather and humidity affected both teams. We simply outlasted them.”
Senior Lacey Hofstedt extended her hitting streak to six games while going 2-for-2 with one run scored and one RBI to lead the Cougars (10-6) at the plate. St. Clair and Strid both went 1-for-2 with two RBI while Mercedes O’Connor and Coco Tauali’i both picked up an RBI in the game.
From the circle, pitcher McKenna Bull notched her 10th win of the year, improving her record to 10-3 with the complete game while allowing nine hits and no earned runs with four strikeouts.
“This is a fun but different playing environment,” Eakin added. “Hopefully we know what to expect now and will play cleaner ball tomorrow.”
The Cougars got off to a solid start by posting an early lead after shutting down the Wolf Pack side in the top of the first.
St. Clair and Strid each had two-run singles with bases loaded for the 4-0 advantage after the first inning.
Nevada struck back in the top of the second with its first run, cutting the lead to 4-1.
BYU then tacked on two more in the bottom of the third on Tauali’i’s sacrifice fly and Hofstedt’s base hit, scoring Broderick and St. Clair, respectively.
The Wolf Pack edged its way back into the game, posting a three-run fifth inning before adding another in the top of the sixth to cut the Cougar lead to 6-5.
In the bottom of the sixth, BYU bolstered its advantage with O’Connor’s RBI scoring Hofstedt for the 7-5 score.
Nevada began the top of the seventh with an attempted comeback, putting its first two batters on base with a walk and a center-field single. Bull then got the third batter to strike out looking, followed by a fly out and a strikeout swinging to seal the game.
The Cougars continue Friday as they face Northern Colorado at 9 a.m. CST and Southern Illinois University at 2 p.m.