SAN DIEGO – McKenna Bull became BYU’s career strikeout leader as BYU softball picked up wins over Miami University (Ohio) and Detroit Mercy in a doubleheader in the San Diego Classic I on Friday.
“We had a couple of good team wins," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "The pitching was exceptional with Arianna (Paulson) throwing a shutout and McKenna (Bull) throwing 11 strikeouts to break the BYU career record. Everyone contributed today."
Bull broke the strikeout record in the sixth inning against Miami of Ohio, totaling 11 Ks to up her career total to 805. She surpassed the 803 tallied by Pagie Affleck from 2008-11. Bull’s 11 strikeouts were also a season-high for the senior.
As a team, BYU (10-6, 0-0 West Coast Conference) notched a season high in runs scored with 16 against Detroit Mercy. The Cougars had 18 total hits on the day.
Bull became BYU’s career strikeout leader in the sixth inning of the 6-2 win over Miami University (Ohio) (5-10, 0-0 MAC). She tallied 11 strikeouts in the complete game to reach 805 total Ks, surpassing Paige Affleck’s 803 total.
Stealing three bases, Thompson brought in the first run in the bottom of the first to give BYU an early 1-0 lead. After tallying those three steals, she moved into a tie for sixth in career stolen bases with Jessica Dugas at 34.
Following three scoreless innings, the Cougars ran up the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth, bringing in five runs to push the lead to 6-0. The first run of the inning was scored off of Lauren Bell’s sacrifice fly. In the next at bat, Thompson hit a two-run homer right over centerfield. Merrell brought in a run with a double and Ashley Godfrey drew a walk with the bases loaded for the fifth run of the frame.
The RedHawks scored two runs in the top of the sixth off of errors to avoid the shutout. The score was 6-2 after six innings, but in the top of the seventh, the BYU defense made Miami go three up, three down to seal the win.
Balanced hitting led BYU to a 16-0 run-rule win over Detroit Mercy (3-8, 0-0 Horizon League) in the second game. Throwing all five innings from the circle, Arianna Paulson notched her first career shutout for the Cougars, totaling three strikeouts in the win. Junior Alexa Strid led the team with four RBI on 2 of 3 hitting, also reaching home twice. Godfrey went 3 for 3, a career best, with one RBI.
The Cougars started hot, scoring three runs in the opening frame. Thompson got it rolling with a triple to score the first run.
In the top of the second, BYU scored the most runs in an inning so far this season with seven. Errors plagued the Detroit Mercy infield, committing three in that inning alone. Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge brought in two runs with a double to left center. In the following at bat, Strid hit her first home run of the year to bring in two more. BYU led 10-0 heading into the third.
Singles from Arissa Paulson and Brooke Vander Heide scored two runs in the top of the third. Then with the bases loaded, McKenzie St. Clair was walked, bringing in Paulson for the third run of the frame. The Cougars extended the lead to 13-0 after three.
The Titans ran into some pitching trouble again in the top of the fourth. They allowed two more runs to reach home after walking a batter with the bases loaded, pushing the lead up to 15-0 for BYU.
To make it 16-0, Godfrey hit a single in the top of the fifth to bring in Briielle Breland. Despite Detroit Mercy loading up the bases in the bottom frame, the defense would hold onto the shutout.
BYU’s final game of the San Diego Classic I will be against Boston University on Saturday at 1 p.m. PST. Live stats will be available on the BYU softball schedule page.