Thompson shines as BYU wins one of two in doubleheader
NORMAN, Okla. – Ashley Thompson had three hits on the day to lead BYU softball to a doubleheader split with a 6-5 win over Saint Louis and a 3-0 loss to No. 13/14 Oklahoma on Saturday.
“Today was a tale of two games," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "In the first game, our bats were alive. In the second game against a quality Oklahoma pitcher, we struggled to find a hit. But our effort today was good and our team is continuing to develop. I'm optimistic about the rest of the season."
The Cougars (14-10) finish the Oklahoma tournament with a 2-2 record. On Saturday, they had 11 total hits in the two games. Thompson stood out offensively for BYU, totaling a team-high three RBI against Saint Louis and doubling for one of BYU’s two hits against Oklahoma.
In the 6-5 win over Saint Louis (8-9), the Cougars out-hit the Billikens 9-6. McKenna Bull threw 11 strikeouts in the win along with seven walks. This is her fifth game this season with double-digit strikeouts.
Thompson led the batting effort with three RBI, two hits and two runs. She has had three games with three RBI this season. There were also three home runs in the win.
BYU got on the board right away in the first inning. Thompson doubled to right field to bring in Gordy Bravo for the first run of the game. The second double of the inning came from Libby Sugg, allowing Thompson to score to push the lead to 2-0 in favor of BYU.
The Cougars scored two in the second inning as well. McKenzie St. Clair and Alexa Strid both hit solo home runs to extend the lead to 4-0 early on. Those homers were their third and second home runs of the season, respectively.
The Billikens closed in on the Cougars’ lead with a three-run home run in the top of the third, making it 4-3. Then in the top of the fifth, Saint Louis took the lead, scoring two runs to go up 5-4.
In the bottom of the sixth, Thompson hit the Cougars’ third home run of the game to bring in two runs and take back the lead, 6-5. BYU held the Billikens scoreless in the seventh to seal the win.
In the rematch against No. 13/14 Oklahoma (15-4), BYU was shutout again, 3-0, despite holding the Sooners scoreless for five innings. The Cougars avoided back-to-back no-hitters from the Sooners’ pitcher Paige Parker thanks to Thompson’s double in the seventh inning.
Neither team was able to score a run in the first five innings of the game. The Sooners racked up six hits, but the Cougars were hitless through five. Oklahoma had the leadoff hitter reach base in four of fives innings, but the BYU defense and freshman pitcher Olivia Sanchez kept Oklahoma from scoring.
In the bottom of the sixth, Oklahoma finally got on board after a single brought in the runner from third base. A two-run double increased the deficit, putting BYU down 3-0.
Thompson doubled in the top of the seventh to break up the no-hitter. In the next at bat, Madison Merrell singled to advance Thompson to third. However, the late-rally attempt fell short and ended in the 3-0 loss for the Cougars.
Next up for BYU is the Deseret First Duel against Utah in Salt Lake City on Tuesday at 4 p.m. MDT. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network and live stats will be available on the BYU schedule page.