LOS ANGELES – McKenna Bull broke the BYU career wins record as BYU softball swept Dartmouth in a doubleheader, winning 4-0 and 5-1 on the first day of the UCLA Invitational on Friday.
“We came out flat today,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “It seemed like we were physically and mentally tired and struggled to find energy. We are determined to find a way to keep that from happening in the future. On the positive side, we are a good enough team to overcome that condition and pick up two wins. A win is a win! McKenna Bull and Arissa Paulson both pitched quality games today.”
BYU improves to 21-7 with the wins today against Dartmouth (0-16-1, 0-0 Ivy League). The Cougars extend their win streak to nine games.
Bull broke Paige Affleck’s career wins record at BYU. Her win in the first game was her 92nd career win, surpassing Affleck’s 91 wins. She now holds the BYU career records in complete games, shutouts, saves and strikeouts.
Pitchers Bull and Arissa Paulson combined for 15 strikeouts on the day, each pitching complete-game wins. Alexa Strid led the Cougars at the plate, going 3 for 6 with two runs and three RBI on the day.
Behind 10 strikeouts from Bull, BYU topped Dartmouth 4-0 in the first game of the day. With this win, she broke the BYU career wins record, notching her 92nd victory. Strid led the team on offense, going 2 for 3 with a solo home run and two runs scored.
The Cougars got going in the second inning. In the top of the second, Bull struck out all three batters, forcing the Big Green to go three up, three down. Then in the bottom frame, Strid hit a solo shot to left field for the first run of the game. With Briielle Breland on first, McKenzie St. Clair hit a single to advance the runner, but a fielding error by Dartmouth gave Breland time to run home. After two innings, BYU led 2-0.
Following a scoreless third inning, the Cougars brought in another run in the bottom of the fourth. Breland notched an RBI when Strid reached home, extending the lead to 3-0.
The final run came in the bottom of the sixth when St. Clair stole second, distracting the infield to allow Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge to steal home. Bull struck out three in the top of the seventh to earn the 4-0 win.
After a slow start, the Cougars defeated the Big Green 5-1 in the second game of the doubleheader. Ashley Thompson went 2 for 4 with a three-run home run in the seventh to seal the win. Paulson pitched a complete game, throwing five strikeouts and walking just one.
BYU came out hot in the top of the first, getting runners on second and third, but were unable to capitalize. Both teams were scoreless for the first two innings.
Dartmouth struck first in the bottom of the third off of a double to left center, scoring one run. The Big Green had a slim 1-0 lead after three innings.
In the top of the sixth, Lauren Bell led off with a single to right field. Libby Sugg came in to pinch hit and singled down the right field line to move Bell to third base. In the next at bat, Strid drilled a triple to right field, bringing home both Bell and Sugg to put the Cougars up 2-1.
To extend the lead, Thompson hit a three-run homer over right field in the top of the seventh. She brought in Ashley Godfrey and Lexi Tarrow with her, pushing the lead to 5-1. That score would hold as Dartmouth went three up, three down in the bottom of the seventh.
The UCLA Invitational will continue on Saturday with a doubleheader against No. 15/16 UCLA starting at 12 p.m. PDT. Live stats and audio streaming links will be available on the BYU softball schedule page.