LOS ANGELES – Late comebacks fell short as BYU softball lost to No. 15/16 UCLA in a doubleheader, losing 1-0 and 4-2 on Saturday.
“We fought hard today, but we just couldn't get going offensively," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "Once again, our pitching was solid today."
BYU (21-9, 0-0 West Coast Conference) struggled offensively against the tough pitching of UCLA (23-8, 0-3 Pac-12). The Cougars had just one hit in the first game, but picked it up and notched seven in the second matchup. They finish the UCLA Invitational with a 2-2 record.
McKenna Bull led the pitching staff on the day, tallying seven strikeouts with no walks in the first game. Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge had a solid day at the plate in the second game, going a perfect 3 for 3.
A solo homer in the bottom of the fifth was the lone run of the game as BYU fell to UCLA 1-0 in the first game. Bull pitched a complete game, throwing seven strikeouts and giving up just one run and zero walks. Libby Sugg notched the only hit of the game for the Cougars.
The first game started off slow with the first three innings resulting in zero runs and just one hit from UCLA.
The Cougars got their first hit in the top of the fourth off of a single from Sugg to left field. In the bottom of the fourth, the Bruins led off with a single, but Bull struck out three straight to end the inning and keep the score tied at 0-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, a solo home run to right center got UCLA on the board, taking the 1-0 lead.
BYU was poised to score in the top of the sixth with runners on first and third, but a pop up to first base got the third out, leaving Lauren Bell stranded in scoring position. The Cougars couldn’t get anything going in the top of the seventh, sealing the 1-0 loss.
Despite a late rally, BYU fell 4-2 in the second game against UCLA. Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge went 3 for 3 in the second game, only the second time in her career she has bat 1.000 with at least three at bats. Arissa Paulson pitched a complete game, throwing two strikeouts in the loss.
The Bruins struck first in the second game, scoring on a double to right center in the bottom of the third. The Cougars were down 1-0 after three with just one hit in the game.
In the bottom of the fifth, UCLA brought in three more runs, one scored on a fielding error and two on a single up the middle. Kerisa Viramontes came in to relieve Paulson, getting the next two batters out. BYU trailed 4-0 after five innings.
The Cougars got a rally going in the top of the seventh with Alldredge and Madison Merrell leading off with singles. With two outs, and facing the reliever and winner of the first game Rachel Garcia, Briielle Breland hit a double to right field, bringing in both Alldredge and Merrell to make it 4-2. Lexi Tarrow reached on an error and Sugg was walked in the next two at bats to fill up the bases. However, Garcia struck out Ashley Thompson to save the 4-2 win for UCLA.
Next week, BYU will travel to the northwest to face Oregon and Oregon State.