Cougars edged out by Hornets, 4-3

BYU softball dropped its first game of a doubleheader in the Capital Classic at Sacramento State, 4-3.

BYU softball huddles in pitching circle during Capital Classic game at Sacramento State on Feb. 29, 2024BYU softball huddles in pitching circle during Capital Classic game at Sacramento State on Feb. 29, 2024

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — BYU softball dropped its first game of a doubleheader in the Capital Classic against Sacramento State, 4-3 at Shea Stadium on Thursday morning.


The Cougars (12-4, 0-0 Big 12) led on two different occasions in the game, receiving a home run from Violet Zavodnik in the first and a pair of runs in the fourth, but were unable to score after the fourth inning.

Player Highlights

  • Violet Zavodnik: 1-3, HR, RBI
  • Hailey Morrow: 1-2, R, 2B, RBI
  • Chloe Temples (L, 5-1): 3.1 IP, 2 H 2 ER, 6 K

BYU opened the top of the first inning with back-to-back flyouts to center field from Ailana Agbayani and Maddie Bejarano. Zavodnik launched a solo home run to right field for BYU’s first run of the game and an early 1-0 lead.

Pitcher Chloe Temples entered the circle and struck out the first three Hornets to bat in the bottom of the first.

In the top of the second, Morrow was hit by a pitch and advanced to first base. Maddie Udall reached on a fielder’s choice with a bunt to third base, sending pinch runner Jaelynn Lambert to second base for Sacramento State’s first out of the inning. With a Keila Komoku pop up to second base and an Agbayani ground out to third, the Hornets held the Cougars to no runs in the second.

Sacramento State saw its first run of the morning in the bottom of the second from a sacrifice bunt and double to left center, tying the game at 1-1. 

In the top of the third, the Hornets' pitcher Marissa Bertuccio struck out Agbayani and Bejarano, and Zavodnik was called out on an infield fly rule, keeping the score tied at 1-1.

The Hornets saw their second run in their half of the third, scoring on a wild pitch after a walk and a stolen base. Sacramento State took the 2-1 lead heading into the fourth.

Lily Owens was first at bat for the Cougars at the top of the fourth, doubling to left center. Owens came home on a Morrow double as BYU tied the game at 2-2. Kamoku then brought Morrow home with a single to right field as the Cougars retook the lead, 3-2.

After a Sacramento State walk and single, BYU switched pitchers in the bottom of the fourth, with freshman Kate Dahle entering the circle. The Hornets scored two more runs on three hits after a fielding error by Agbayani and another single up the middle, leading 4-3 heading into the fifth.

Agbayani walked to open the top of the fifth for the Cougs. A Bejarano sacrifice bunt advanced Agbayani to second, then an Owens fly out to center advanced her to third. Zavodnik stole second before Huntyr Ava struck out as the Hornets held onto their lead.

Sacramento State had a walk in the bottom of the fifth, but was caught stealing second as Morrow threw to Agbayani for an out. Two more strikeouts by Dahle ended the fifth inning, neither team scoring a run.

Udall singled through the infield to open the sixth for the Cougars. Pinch runner Lexie Bennett got out at second as Kamoku reached on a fielder’s choice. Lyndsey Madgrial was hit by a pitch and Kamoku advanced to second. Despite an Agbayani single to center field and bases loaded, pinch runner Taryn Lennon was thrown out at home, keeping the Hornets lead at 4-3.

The Hornets singled up the middle before two strikes and a ground out ended the sixth inning with zero runs from either side.

In the final inning, Owens singled to left field and advanced to second on a passed ball, but the Cougars were unable to get another run as the Hornets took home the win, 4-3.

Up Next
The Cougars will play another game on Thursday afternoon against UC Davis, with first pitch scheduled for 12:30 p.m. MT. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.