PROVO, Utah - In McKenna Bull’s ninth shutout of the season, BYU softball defeated the Saint Mary’s Gaels by a score of 1-0 to win the third of three West Coast Conferences games between the two teams this weekend.
"This was a huge win for us," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "Both teams played well today. Both pitchers threw really well. McKenna threw a great game for us. We just hung in there until we finally got something to fall. Wins like this are gratifying. To me, it is a more solid win than the two yesterday."
After five scoreless innings, the lone run of the game was scored in the top of the sixth inning by junior Lauren Bell after freshman Libby Sugg blasted a line drive to left field, bringing Bell home from second base.
The Cougars (27-17, 4-2 WCC) were led by junior pitcher McKenna Bull, whose nine shutouts break a school record for most shutouts in a season, surpassing her previously-set record of eight (2015). This was the 20th shutout of her career, putting her in a tie for first place with Paige Affleck. Bull also threw 11 strikeouts on Saturday, the final two coming in the last inning to finish off the game after the top of the seventh.
Although the Gaels (18-23, 5-4 WCC) ended the game with four runners left on base, they were unable to bring any of them home. Their closest opportunity came in the sixth inning with a runner on second, but Bull struck out the following hitter for a third out and set the Cougars up for their score in the bottom of the inning.
Senior third baseman Coco Tauali'i Bond also came up big for the Cougars on defense in the top of the fifth inning, sprinting up to catch a foul pop just behind home for the second out of the inning. The third out came quickly thereafter, with senior centerfielder Gordy Bravo easily hauling in a fly ball.
With the win, BYU remains undefeated against Saint Mary's, with a perfect all-time record of 17-0.
With a fifth win in a row, the Cougars improve to 4-2 in the WCC. They travel to take on Pacific in a three-game series on the weekend of April 29-30 in Stockton, Calif. The two games on Friday will be played at 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm PDT, with the final contest beginning at 12:00 pm PDT on Saturday. Live streaming and stats will be available on the BYU softball schedule page at BYUcougars.com.