CATHEDRAL CITY, California – Errors plagued BYU softball in a 9-4 loss to No. 10 UCLA in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic II on Friday.
“The team fought hard today against a very good UCLA team," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "There were one or two close calls that went against us that changed the game that I disagreed with, but that is the nature of the game. I'm proud of our fight."
BYU (8-5) couldn't overcome three errors in the loss to UCLA (11-4), giving the Buins two unearned runs. The Cougars were also out-hit, seven hits to 12.
McKenna Bull struggled from the circle in the loss, with five strikeouts and seven walks. The last time she threw more walks than strikeouts was a 3-1 win at San Diego State in 2015 where she had three walks and two strikeouts. At the plate, Coco Tauali’i Bond led the team with three RBI, two of which came from her two-run home run in the fifth inning.
With two outs in the first inning, Libby Sugg drilled a home run over the left field fence. Her sixth home run this season put the Cougars up 1-0 early on in the contest. The Bruins responded, however, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the second, tough defense by BYU kept what could have been three runs scored down to just one run allowed, making it a 3-1 deficit for the Cougars.
UCLA scored again when a throwing error from right field allowed the runner to advance to third. The Bruins led 4-1 after four innings.
With Caitlyn Larsen on first base in the top of the fifth, Bond hit a two-run homer to centerfield. Bond’s first home run of the season brought BYU within one, 4-3. However, UCLA responded in the next half-inning with back-to-back solo home runs to extend its lead to 6-3.
In the top of the sixth, the Bruins’ pitcher hit Alexa Strid with a pitch to load the bases. She then hit Bond in the next at bat to bring in Ashley Thompson, making it 6-4. With the bases still loaded, Gordy Bravo hit the ball to mid-left, but was robbed on a diving catch from the centerfielder to end the inning.
UCLA scored three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, pushing its lead to 9-4.
The Cougars finish the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic II on Saturday with a doubleheader against Cal State Fullerton and No. 17 Missouri at 5 p.m. PST and 8 p.m. PST, respectively. Live stats for both games can be found on the BYU schedule page.