PROVO, Utah – Sophomore Madison Merrell batted in her 23rd run of the season as BYU softball fell 5-1 to Loyola Marymount on Saturday at Gail Miller Field.
“Today we didn’t make the adjustments we needed to make in order to compete,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “McKenna (Bull) held us in the game until the last inning but they just took it to us.”
Junior McKenna Bull pitched five scoreless innings for the Cougars and now holds a 15-11 record on the year. LMU's Hannah Bandimere earned the win after pitching the final two innings.
WIth the loss, the Cougars fall to 22-17 with a 1-2 record in the WCC. Loyola Marymount took the series 2-1 and improved to 24-17 on the year with a 2-1 record in league play.
The Lions jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after Meghan Von Behren opened the game with a home run. LMU put two runners on with two outs in the inning before Bell caught a line drive to get the Cougars out of the inning.
Loyola next threatened to score in the top of the fourth, putting runners at the corners with two outs. Bull responded by striking out Von Behren for her 200th strikeout of the season and the score remained 1-0.
The Cougars were still hitless until the fifth inning when Caitlyn Larsen beat out a bunt single. Junior McKenzie St. Clair added another single, but the Cougars left both runners stranded at the end of the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Cougar offense continued to produce baserunners when Bell drew a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Merrell singled up the middle and Bell scored from second to tie the game at 1-1.
With runners on first and second, LMU’s Alicia Brown doubled to knock in the go-ahead run. The next batter, Amanda Dirks, blasted a three-run home run off the scoreboard to put the Lions ahead 5-1.
The Cougar offense made one final rally in the seventh after St. Clair reached on a fielder’s choice and the next two Cougar batters walked to load the bases. With the tying run at the plate, junior Ashley Thompson hit a deep fly ball, but LMU made the out to secure the victory.
BYU remains at home to host Utah State on Wednesday, April 13, at 6 p.m. MDT. The game will be televised on BYUtv and fans can listen to the radio broadcast on BYU Radio-Sirius XM 143. Live stats will also be available on the BYU schedule page.