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Cougars lose first WCC games of the year

LOS ANGELES – BYU softball suffered its first setback in West Coast Conference play, falling in a doubleheader to Loyola Marymount University 6-5 and 8-4 Friday.

The Cougars (38-12, 12-2 WCC) were too little too late, falling in consecutive games for the first time since February.

Gordy Bravo and Lacey Hofstedt led the team with three hits apiece on the day. 

Freshman relief pitcher Madison Merrell led BYU from the circle, allowing five hits and one earned run in 5.2 innings.

Game One
Bravo led off with a bloop single to shallow center, eventually scoring on an LMU (26-27) error for the 1-0 advantage in the top of the first.

The Lions responded to take the lead with four runs in the bottom of the first after an Alicia Brown grand slam to center.

Hofstedt sparked a two-out rally in the top of the second with a bloop single to left field before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Bravo then notched her second hit of the game, scoring Hofstedt from second to cut the lead to 4-2.

LMU put another run on the board with a home run to left field for the 5-2 advantage in the bottom of the third.

The Cougars scored again in the top of the fifth on O’Connor’s fourth dinger of the year– a solo shot to left center to bring the tally to 5-3.

In the bottom of the fifth the Lions added another run on a single to center before Tauali’i led off the next frame with her 10th home run of the season.

LMU loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth, but Merrell snagged a liner hit straight back to the circle before doubling off the runner at first. She then struck out the next batter to end the frame.

In the seventh Bell led off with a double to the fence on a 3-2 pitch, and O’Connor walked to put the tying run aboard. Bell was then called out as LMU got the lead runner on a fielder’s choice. O’Connor scored on a throwing error to make the game 6-5 before the final two Cougars were retired to end the game.

Box Score–BYU vs. LMU game one

Game Two
The second half of the twinbill began with two innings of scoreless ball.

LMU broke the deadlock with an eight-run storm, scoring on five hits and one Cougar error.

BYU scored in the top of the fifth to break on to the scoreboard with Merrell’s first home run of her career.

The Cougars then scored three runs in the top of the seventh on Caitlyn Larsen’s first collegiate home run for the eventual 8-4 tally.

Box Score–BYU vs. LMU game two