Agbayani leads BYU in 14-11 shootout win at Utah Tech


ST. GEORGE, Utah — Freshman Ailana Agbayani homered and pitched 3.2 innings as BYU softball outlasted Utah Tech in a 14-11 offensive affair at Karl Brooks Field on Monday evening.


The Cougars (15-7, 0-0 WCC) led 8-0 after an inning and a half, tallying four runs in each of their first two innings, before weathering a furious comeback by the Trailblazers and retaking the lead for good in the fifth inning.

In a game that lasted three hours and totaled 30 hits between the two teams, BYU’s 18 hits, including home runs from Agbayani, Alyssa Podhurcak-Foss and Huntyr Ava, and no errors helped the Cougars prevail over Utah Tech’s 12 hits and 3 errors. 

Player Highlights

  • Ailana Agbayani: 3-5, R, 2 RBI | 3.2 IP, 2 R, 3 K
  • Alyssa Podhurcak-Foss: 3-4, R, 5 RBI
  • Martha Epenesa: 3-5, 2 R, RBI
  • Huntyr Ava: 2-5, 2 R, RBI

BYU struck first, batting through the order in the top of the first and plating four runs on an RBI double by Martha Epenesa and 3-run home run by Podhurcak-Foss, her second in as many games.

Eight BYU batters went up to the plate in the second inning, beginning with Agbayani, who sent the first pitch she saw over the center field fence for the first homer of her BYU career. 

Following a pitching change, Maddie Bejarano walked, Ava doubled to right, Hailey Morrow reached on a Trailblazer error, Podhurcak-Foss singled to left center and Mallory Barber laid down a sacrifice bunt as the Cougars scored three more runs in the inning to lead 8-0.

Utah Tech got on the board in the bottom of the second, sandwiching a walk with two singles to right field to score one run. The Trailblazers loaded the bases in the inning, but Kaysen Korth got a strikeout looking to end the frame and keep BYU ahead by seven runs at 8-1.

Getting a single, walk and fielder’s choice in the bottom of the third, Utah Tech cut the Cougar lead in half with a 3-run homer of its own, making it 8-4 after three.

BYU got a run back in the top of the fourth with Epenesa singling up the middle, moving to second on a Morrow sacrifice bunt and third on a wild pitch before scoring on a Podhurcak-Foss sacrifice fly to go ahead 9-4.

The Trailblazers batted around the order as they scored five runs in the bottom half of the fourth, knotting the game up at 9-9 after Korth, Delaney Baker and Agbayani all pitched in the frame.

Alexis Gilio led off the top of the fifth with a triple to left field, coming in to score as Taryn Lennon singled up the middle to put the Cougars back in front, 10-9. BYU had a pair of runners on after regaining the lead, but was unable to capitalize.

The Cougars opened the game back up in the sixth, scoring three insurance runs. With Barber and Gilio at the corners, Gilio stole second and Barber came home on a Utah Tech throwing error. Pinch hitter Breezy Hayward then singled down the right field line to score Gilio. Lennon, pinch running for Hayward, stole second and scored as Agbayani singled, giving BYU a 13-9 lead.

Ava sent a no-doubter solo shot over the left field fence on the first pitch she saw in the top of the seventh inning, extending the BYU advantage to 14-9.

With a triple and a pair of singles and walks each, the Trailblazers scored two runs and had the bases loaded with two outs before Agbayani got a swinging strikeout to close the door on Utah Tech’s final rally to earn the victory and clinch a 14-10 Cougar win.

BYU will next travel east to play LSU, Louisiana Tech and NC State in the Tiger’s Purple & Gold Challenge from March 30-April 1 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.