SALT LAKE CITY – A two-run homer from Libby Sugg in the seventh inning sealed BYU softball’s 5-4 win over Utah in the Deseret First Duel on Tuesday at Dumke Softball Stadium.
“BYU and Utah games are always intense,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “This is a tough place to play and they are a very good team. I’m very proud of our players for not only playing a good game, but fighting through the elements, sticking with it, and ultimately pulling off a win.”
After three scoreless innings, BYU (15-10) jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Utah (16-9) before Sugg's home run later gave the Cougars a 5-2 advtange. BYU held off a late Utah rally to earn the victory.
From the circle, McKenna Bull threw five strikeouts and gave up three walks. Leading the team at the plate, Gordy Bravo and Sugg both had two RBI. After her homer in the seventh inning, Sugg is now in a two-way tie for second place in the NCAA for home runs this season.
In the bottom of the first, Caitlyn Larsen robbed a potential momentum-changing hit with a catch against the left field fence. The other two outs were struck out swinging by Bull, keeping the game tied 0-0 heading into the second.
After three innings, both teams had one hit each, still in a scoreless tie heading into the fourth. In that inning, the Cougars were finally able to get a run up on the board. A throwing error by Utah later in the inning allowed Bond to head home, scoring the first run and putting BYU up 1-0.
In the fifth, Ashley Thompson drilled a triple to the gap in right field to set up another run for the Cougars. However, the team was unable to bring her home, holding onto the 1-0 lead.
Bravo’s triple in the top of the sixth brought in two runs for BYU, extending the lead to 3-0 with two outs. The offensive outburst forced a pitching change for Utah, which led to the third out.
The Utes got on the board in the bottom of the sixth, scoring a run off of a double to right field. A sacrifice fly brought in their second run, but Bull’s tough pitching avoided the tying run and kept the Cougars ahead, 3-2.
Sugg hit her 12th home run of the season on a two-run bomb over left field in the top of the seventh, pushing BYU’s lead to 5-2 over Utah. Two Cougar errors kept the Utes’ hopes alive in the bottom of the seventh, allowing two more runs. BYU pulled together, however, earning the 5-4 win.
Next up, the Cougars head to the San Diego Classic II from Thursday to Saturday. BYU will play five games while in San Diego. Live stats will be available on the BYU schedule page.