LAS VEGAS – A third-inning scoring outburst pushed No. 25 BYU softball to a 7-5 win over Hawai’i in the first game of the DeMarini Desert Classic on Thursday.
“It was a nice team effort after getting off to a slow start,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “We didn’t play our best softball today, but the mark of a good team is to be able to win when you don’t play your best.”
The two teams were close in the matchup, with BYU (3-2, 0-0 West Coast Conference) being out-hit by Hawai’i (2-2, 0-0 Big West) 11-10. The Cougars pulled out the win despite committing their first two errors of the season.
McKenna Bull carried the bulk of the pitching duties, throwing for six innings and earning five strikeouts in her third win of the year. Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge went 2 for 3 with three RBI and two runs to lead the offensive effort. Freshman Rylee Jensen went 2 for 2, notching two RBI and one run.
To start the game, the Cougars advanced Jensen to third base, but were unable to capitalize on the scoring opportunity. The Rainbow Wahine got on the board first in the same inning, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first with four hits.
The second inning was very similar to the first. BYU got Alexa Strid to third base but could not get her home. Then in the bottom of the second, Hawai’i drove in two runs off of a homer over left field. The Cougars were down 4-0 after two innings.
An RBI double from Jensen brought in Lexi Tarrow for the Cougars’ first run in the top of the third. They scored four more runs in the inning, including a three-run homer from Alldredge to take the 5-4 lead.
After Hawai’i brought in one in the bottom of the third to tie it, BYU scored another in the top of the fourth. Jensen’s single brought in McKenzie St. Clair to put the Cougars up 6-5.
The fifth inning was quiet on the scoring front, but the Cougars got going again in the top of the sixth. Tarrow’s single up the middle brought in Alldredge, extending the lead to 7-5 in the middle of the sixth inning.
The score would hold as tough defense kept the Rainbow Wahine from reaching home, giving the Cougars the 7-5 victory.
The DeMarini Desert Classic continues for BYU tomorrow with a doubleheader against Texas State and Nevada starting at 10 a.m. PST. Live stats will be available on the BYU softball schedule page.