PROVO, Utah – Arissa Paulson struck out a career-high nine and Gordon Eakin picked up career win 600 as No. 20 BYU softball picked up a 10-2 run-rule win in six innings against Utah Valley on Monday at Gail Miller Field in the UCCU Crosstown Clash.
"We're stying to stay focused and compete every time we play, and that's what we got today," BYU head coach Eakin said. "We had great discipline at the plate today."
Eakin now has 600 wins in his career. As the head coach, he has 10 seasons with 40 or more wins and has led the program to nine-straight conference titles and has advanced to 12 NCAA regionals appearances in a row.
The Cougars (41-10) increased their winning streak to 20 games and remained perfect at home (15-0) this season behind Paulson's strong game in the circle and two-RBI games from Ashley Thompson, Alexa Strid and Brooke Vander Heide. The Wolverines fell to 16-22.
BYU put up six runs in the first inning on three hits and five walks. Lexi Tarrow and Rylee Jensen each drove in a run with singles and Vander Heide plated two with her bases-loaded line drive over third base.
Utah Valley scored a run in the second frame but stranded three baserunners as Paulson got a strikeout and induced an inning-ended groundout to preserve the 6-1 Cougar lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, a lightning delay suspended play for roughly an hour and a half. Tarrow, who took a full count into the delay, slapped the first pitch after play resumed up the middle for a hit. She eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-1 for BYU after three.
Paulson struck out the side in the fourth inning, with all three Wolverines going down swinging. In the bottom half, Thompson singled through the right side to drive in Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge, who also knocked a single. Strid’s double to left field brought home Libby Sugg for a 9-1 Cougar advantage.
Utah Valley’s Brittney Vansway hit a solo shot over the centerfield fence off Paulson to make it 9-2 and keep the game from ending via mercy rule in the middle of the fifth inning.
Alldredge led off the bottom of the sixth with a double in the left-center gap. She advanced to third base on a Sugg flyout to deep center and scored on a Thompson fielder’s choice to second base for the 10-2 run-rule win.
Paulson finished with four hits and two earned runs allowed in six innings to improve to 9-3 on the season.
BYU is at Gail Miller Field again tomorrow against Utah State, with the game starting at 6 p.m. MDT. The game will be streamed live on theW.tv.