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Bull strikes out 11, Cougars top Aggies


PROVO, Utah – Fueled by 11 strikeouts from McKenna Bull, BYU softball topped Utah State 4-1 in its first head-to-head match up of the season on Wednesday at Gail Miller Field.

"It was a good team win tonight," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "McKenna pitched very well and we played nice team defense. We knew where to be and when to be there, and we got hits when we needed them."

Pitching a full game, Bull finished the game giving up just four hits and walking one batter.  Bull’s double-digit strikeout performance is her sixth of the season and the 11th of her career. She is now 17-10 on the year.

BYU (23-17, 1-2 West Coast Conference) tallied eight hits to Utah State’s (19-16, 5-4 Mountain West Conference) four. Ashley Thompson went 2 for 2 from the plate, scoring one run. McKenzie St. Clair batted .667, going 2 for 3 in the game. St. Clair also had a solo home-run in the third.

BOX SCORE: BYU vs. Utah State

Bull closed out the top of the first inning retiring three straight batters, striking out the third batter to keep the score at zero-all.

Utah State moved runners into scoring position in the top of the second after a ball was thrown past first base. The Cougars were able to get out of the inning without letting any runs cross the plate, as Bull struck out Victoria Saucedo and Bailey Lewis popped out to finish the inning.

In the bottom of the third, St. Clair put the Cougars up 1-0 with a home run, her sixth of the year. BYU proceeded to drive two singles up the left side. Alleyah Armediariz then walked Libby Sugg, loading the bases. Despite the bases being loaded, the Cougars just scored the one run. BYU tallied three hits in the third.

Noelle Johnson opened the fourth inning for the Aggies with a single for Utah State’s first hit of the game. BYU was able to then retire three-straight batters backed by two strikeouts from Bull.

With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Gordy Bravo hit a pop fly to deep left to tally a sacrifice RBI, bringing in Caitlyn Larsen. With the run, the Cougars took the 2-0 lead.

Madison Merrell delivered a line drive to left field for the RBI double, scoring Thompson to go up 3-0. Emilee Erickson then doubled to right to score Merrell from second to take the 4-0 lead over the Aggies in the fifth.

Utah State tallied its first run of the game in the top of the sixth inning to make the score 4-1. Armendiariz grounded out to first, scoring Sarah Chow from third.

With the win over the Aggies, BYU is 35-2 all-time against Utah State. The Cougars hold a 18-1 record against the Aggies at home.

BYU travels across town to take on Utah Valley on Wednesday, April 20, at 3 p.m. MDT.  The game will be broadcast on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143. Links to live stats and radio coverage can be found on the BYU softball schedule page.