First day of San Diego Classic yields doubleheader split for BYU
SAN DIEGO – BYU softball split a doubleheader on the first day of the San Diego Classic I on Thursday, dropping the first game 6-3 to McNeese State before defeating San Diego State 5-1 in the nightcap.
“I saw some good things today and some things we need to work on," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "Mostly we need to work on our consistency. Tomorrow we will try to put together two solid games."
BYU (8-6, 0-0 West Coast Conference) totaled 15 hits on the day. The Cougars did not commit one error in the two games. Freshman Rylee Jensen hit 4 for 6 in the doubleheader, including a 3-for-4 outing against San Diego State.
BYU dropped the first game of the doubleheader 6-3 to McNeese State (8-8, 0-0 Southland). Freshman Kerisa Viramontes got the start in the circle, throwing 3.2 innings. Briielle Breland led the team at the plate, going 2 for 3 along with her six putouts in right field.
BYU got on the board in the bottom of the first. When Ashley Thompson attempted to steal second, she gave Jensen time to score from third, making it 1-0.
In the top of the third inning, a double to right field scored a run for the Cowgirls to tie the game. Then in the top of the fourth, McNeese State brought in three runs, one off of a walk with the bases loaded and two from a double down the left field line. BYU had a 4-1 deficit heading into the bottom of the fourth.
A solo shot by the Cowgirls extended the lead to 5-2 in the top of the fifth, but the Cougars struck back in the bottom frame. Jensen drilled a double to left center, bringing Breland home to make it 5-3.
In the top of the sixth, McNeese scored one more run, pushing the lead to 6-3. That would hold as the final score.
The Cougars picked it up in the second game, defeating the Aztecs (8-7, 0-0 Mountain West) 5-1 while allowing just four hits. McKenna Bull pitched all seven innings in the win, throwing a season-high eight strikeouts. Jensen went 3 for 4 with one run scored.
The bats came out strong to start the game. With Lauren Bell and Jensen on first and second, respectively, Sugg homered over left field to give BYU an early 3-0 lead.
To extend the lead, the Cougars brought in two more runs in the top of the third. A single from Thompson and a sacrifice fly from Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge pushed the score to 5-0. The defense brought Breland to the infield for two slap hitters, and the Aztecs went three up, three down in the bottom frame.
Bull threw two strikeouts in the bottom of the fifth to up her game total to six. After five innings, BYU still held a 5-0 lead.
San Diego State scored one run in the bottom of the sixth to avoid the shutout, making it 5-1, but BYU's tough infield defense in the bottom of the seventh sealed the win for the Cougars.
The Cougars continue the tournament on Friday with a doubleheader against Miami (Ohio) and Detroit Mercy. Live stats will be available for both games on the BYU softball schedule page.
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