Thompson's night leads Cougars to two wins over Pacific
PROVO, Utah – BYU softball won a 16-9 slugfest and a 7-0 shutout against Pacific on Friday night behind eight total RBI and six hits from Ashley Thompson at Gail Miller Field.
In the nightcap, Thompson tied the school record for hits in a game with five. She also totaled the third most RBI in a game with six. The last time a player had five hits and six RBI was Jessica Fitu against Cal State Northridge on Feb. 19, 2011.
"She had a monster day today," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said of Thompson. "She just really hit the ball well and had a great day at the plate. She's really confident right now swinging the bat."
What started as a bludgeoning turned into a barn-burner as the Cougars (28-8, 5-0) took a 9-0 lead before Pacific (10-31, 0-5) kept pace.
The Tigers homered in the third and hit two more in the fourth, but were still in danger of being run-ruled in the fifth. With the score 13-5, Rachel Sellers took a 1-1 pitch with two outs off the foul pole in left field to send the game to the bottom of the inning.
Pacific added a three-run shot in the sixth by Cassidy Gustafson to cut the lead to 13-9.
"We hit all the pitching they put in, so I was pleased with our home runs," Eakin said. "I was not pleased with so many for them. They hit too many."
Mercedes O’Connor finished off the homer-happy Friday night with a three-run shot of her own to dead center in the bottom of the sixth. The three runs gave BYU its final 16-9 margin.
The starting pitcher in both games, McKenna Bull, earned the wins pitching 10.1 innings, allowing three hits and two runs, while striking out four. Bull is now 24-5 with a 2.00 ERA. Thompson came on in relief in both games pitching 3.2 innings and striking out five.
Gordy Bravo extended her hitting streak to 10 games in the doubleheader and finished 4-for-6 with six runs scored and four RBI. St. Clair was 2-for-6 with four runs scored on the day
In the opener, Bravo’s three RBI including a first inning leadoff home run led the Cougars to a 7-0 shutout victory.
Tauali’i also homered going 2-for-3 with two RBI. Thompson also had two RBI and struck out three in the seventh inning coming in for starter McKenna Bull.
Bravo started the scoring in the first inning with a lead-off home run in the first to give BYU an early lead.
The Cougars were held scoreless in the second and third inning but broke through for three runs in the fourth.
After Tauali’i reached on a Pacific error to begin the fourth, Alexa Strid reached on a fielder’s choice. Lacey Hofstedt singled to right to advance Strid to second base. Bravo then singled to center field to bring in Strid from third base, giving BYU a two-run lead. Thompson’s two-out single to right later that inning with the bases loaded drove in two more runs for the Cougars and extended the lead to 4-0.
In the fifth, Tauali’i crushed a 1-1 pitch to center field for her fourth home run of the season driving in St. Clair and giving BYU a 6-0 lead. The Cougars weren’t done scoring as Bravo tallied another RBI bringing home Hofstedt from second base. Hofstedt had reached base after a Pacific error and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
The Cougars take on Pacific Saturday at 1 p.m. MDT at Gail Miller Field. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv and BYU radio.