CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – With a strong offensive day from junior Lexi Tarrow, No. 23 BYU softball defeated Louisville 4-0 and lost to LIU Brooklyn 10-5 on Friday in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
“After playing a great game against Louisville, we fell flat in game two," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "That’s something we have to fix.”
After dominating from the circle against Louisville (7-5, 0-0 ACC), BYU struggled to find a rhythm pitching against LIU (4-6, 0-0 NEC). The offense stayed strong, notching seven hits against the Cardinals and 11 against the Blackbirds.
Tarrow went 4 of 6 on the day with three RBI. She leads the team this season with a .522 batting average. Senior McKenna Bull led the pitching staff with a shutout win over Louisville. The complete game ties her in first place in complete games in a career at BYU with Paige Affleck.
Bull threw her second shutout of the year in BYU’s 4-0 win over Louisville in the first game of the day. She pitched a complete game, throwing five strikeouts and just one walk. At the plate, Tarrow and Brooke Vander Heide had two RBI and two hits apiece to lead the team.
The bats were quiet for both teams through the first five innings. BYU had one hit in the first inning and no more until the fifth. Louisville had one hit in each of the first three innings but could not capitalize on those runners.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Cougars used their bunting skills to get runners on first and second. Rylee Jensen then hit a single up the middle to fill up the bases. After Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge got out on a fielder’s choice to give the Cougars two outs, Tarrow drilled a single to centerfield to score the first runs of the game. She brought in Vander Heide and Jensen to put BYU up 2-0 after five innings.
Vander Heide notched her first career RBI with a single in the bottom of the sixth. Her hit allowed both Alldredge and Briielle Breland to reach home, increasing the lead to 4-0.
The Cardinals’ lead-off batter in the top of the seventh hit a single, but the following three batters got out, sealing the Cougars’ 4-0 win.
Despite late rally attempts, BYU fell to LIU Brooklyn in the second game 10-5. Four Cougar pitchers saw the circle, none of them pitching for more than two innings. Arianna Paulson led the pack with three strikeouts and no walks. McKenzie St. Clair had two RBI on 2-of-4 hitting. Libby Sugg and Tarrow each had two hits and an RBI in the loss.
LIU took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, scoring two runs off of sacrifice flies. In the top of the second, the Cougars tied it up 2-2 off of doubles from Tarrow and Lauren Bell. However, the Blackbirds took back the lead in the bottom of the second with a one-run single, making it 3-2.
LIU hit a two-run homer over left field in the bottom of the third to push the advantage to 5-2 after three innings.
BYU got within one in the top of the fifth. St. Clair drilled a double to right center to bring home Ashley Thompson and Alldredge, making it 5-4. But in the bottom frame, LIU ran up the pitchers, scoring four runs to push its lead to 9-4 after five innings.
With two outs in the top of the sixth, Sugg singled up the middle to score Tarrow, decreasing the Blackbirds’ lead to 9-5. LIU got the margin back up to five after a solo home run to lead off the bottom frame, making it 10-5 heading into the seventh inning.
The Cougars got runners on base in the top of the seventh, but they fell short, dropping the 10-5 contest to the Blackbirds.
The Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic concludes for BYU on Saturday with a matchup against No. 18 Texas A&M. First pitch is at 9:30 a.m. PST, and live stats and radio links will be available on the BYU softball schedule page.