Freshmen lead winning effort over Creighton, BYU falls to No. 24 Notre Dame
TEMPE, Ariz. – BYU softball split its final games of the Kajikawa Classic on Saturday, defeating Creighton 4-0 before falling to No. 24 Notre Dame 4-2 in extra innings.
"Our freshmen really stepped up today," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "Lexi Tarrow was responsible for three of our four runs in the win. McKenna Bull had a great game against a tough team. Even though we played well against a very good team, it's disappointing to lose in extra innings. This is a game we thought we should've won. In the future, if we clean up our defense a little bit, we will win these types of games."
Behind freshman pitcher Olivia Sanchez’s first start, BYU (3-2) shutout Creighton (1-4), the second shutout of the season for the Cougars after defeating San Jose State 8-0 on Thursday. It was another day for BYU’s freshmen to shine with Libby Sugg hitting her second home run of the weekend and Lexi Tarrow leading the effort with two RBI, both against Creighton.
BYU won its third game of the tournament with a 4-0 victory over Creighton. The Cougars had four hits and no errors in the win, while the Bluejays had just one hit and two errors.
Freshman pitcher Sanchez (1-0) earned the first win of her career. She threw four strikeouts and allowed just one hit and zero runs. Another freshman, Tarrow, led BYU in hitting, going 2 for 3 with two RBI, one run and one double. Lauren Bell and Sugg also tallied an RBI each.
Both teams were scoreless and hitless in the first two innings, with BYU going three-up, three-down in both innings.
In the bottom of the third, the Cougars broke through and scored three runs. The first two runs were scored off of Tarrow’s double to right field. That hit brought in both Caitlyn Larsen and Madison Merrell. The next at bat, Bell, singled up the middle to bring in Tarrow to push the Cougar lead to 3-0.
The fourth and fifth frames proved to be another pair of scoreless innings before Sugg jumped out of the gate in the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run to put BYU up 4-0 over Creighton. The Cougars got the first three Bluejay hitters out in the seventh to finish the game and take the victory.
Notre Dame (2-1) out hit the Cougars with nine hits to BYU’s five. The Cougars also had two errors in the loss.
McKenna Bull’s record is now 2-2 after falling to Notre Dame despite throwing six strikeouts and just one walk. Merrell led the Cougars with two RBI and one hit in the loss.
BYU took the early 1-0 lead in the second inning after Merrell's sacrifice fly brought in Ashley Thompson. However, Notre Dame tied it up 1-1 in the third inning.
In the top of the fourth, Merrell got another RBI after singling down the left side, allowing Emilee Erickson to score the Cougars’ second run to take the 2-1 lead.
The Fighting Irish tied the game again 2-2 in the sixth inning on a home run over the right field fence. Neither team was able to score again in the remaining inning, forcing the game to go into the eighth.
In the top of the eighth, BYU went three up, three down, giving Notre Dame the chance to take the game. After the Cougars got the first out, a walk-off two-run homer won the game 4-2 for the Fighting Irish.
BYU hits the road for its second tournament of the year at the DeMarini Classic in Las Vegas next weekend, Feb. 18-20. The Cougars will face Hawai’i in the first game on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. PST.