khaner | Posted: 23 Feb 2017 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Seniors lead No. 23 BYU in win over No. 11/12 Georgia; Cougars lose to No. 9 Arizona

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CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Seniors led the day as No. 23 BYU defeated No. 11/12 Georgia before the Cougars dropped the game against No. 9 Arizona, 9-0 (6) in a doubleheader on Thursday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.

“We played very well against Georgia but couldn’t sustain it against Arizona in game two,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “We have been playing one top team after another and the level of emotion every game demands can get to you. (Pitcher) Danielle O’Toole for Arizona is as good as they come in the circle. She had total command today and kept us off balance.”

From the circle, senior McKenna Bull dominated in the win over Georgia, throwing a shutout to improve her season record to 5-0. Senior second baseman Lauren Bell went 3 for 4 on the day with two runs and three walks. Senior first baseman Ashley Thompson had two RBI off a home run against Georgia to lead the team in the doubleheader. As a team, BYU had just one error in the two games combined.

Game one

The BYU seniors led the team to a 4-0 win over No. 11/12 Georgia (12-1, 0-0 SEC) in the first game of the doubleheader. Pitching a complete game, Bull had five strikeouts in her shutout victory. This game was her 73rd complete game of her career, one shy of tying Paige Affleck.

Bell led the team on offense and defense, reaching base every time she was at the plate with two walks and two hits to go with her two runs. At second base, she had three putouts and four assists. The third senior who made an impact was Thompson, who went 1 for 2 with two walks and a two-run homer.

The Cougars got going early, starting off the first inning at bat. Thompson drilled a two-run homer over centerfield to take an early 2-0 lead over the Bulldogs. In the bottom frame, the defense faced two runners on base, but Bull caught the batter looking for a strikeout and the third out.

In the top of the third, BYU brought two more runs home. Libby Sugg hit a sacrifice fly to left field, allowing Bell time to run home. The second run was scored by Thompson stealing home after Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge was walked. The Cougars led 4-0 after three innings.

Georgia got runners on base in the last four innings, but Bull and the BYU defense held strong to pull off the 4-0 shutout and the upset.

BYU vs. Georgia Box Score

Game two

The pitching of No. 9 Arizona (12-0, 0-0 Pac-12) was too much for BYU to overcome, falling 9-0 in six innings in the second game of the doubleheader. The Cougars notched just three hits in the loss to the Wildcats’ eight. BYU’s pitching duties were split between Arissa Paulson, Kerisa Viramontes and Arianna Paulson.

The Wildcats struck first with three runs in the bottom of the first. The Cougars remained down 3-0 after the Arizona pitcher Danielle O’Toole notched all six outs in the first two innings herself with strikeouts. However, Arissa Paulson got going in the bottom of the second, getting two strikeouts of her own.

In the bottom of the third, Arizona scored one run off of a sacrifice fly to right field, increasing its lead to 4-0. They added two more in the bottom of the fourth off of wild pitches from Paulson. Viramontes came in with two outs and two runners on. One more run scored before the inning ended, increasing the Wildcats lead to 7-0 over the Cougars after four innings.

A single from Briielle Breland led off the fifth inning, followed by a double from Alldredge. The rally fell short, however, as the next three batters were retired in order.

To end the game, Arizona had a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to enforce the run-rule. BYU fell 9-0 in six innings.

BYU vs. Arizona Box Score

The tournament continues for BYU on Friday with matchups against Louisville and LIU Brooklyn at 10 a.m. PST and 3 p.m. PST, respectively. Live stats will be available on the BYU softball schedule page.

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