Cougars conclude season with win over Albany and loss to Drake
EUGENE, Ore. – On the second day of the Eugene NCAA Regional, BYU softball’s 2018 season came to an end after a 16-0 win over University of Albany 16-0 and a 3-0 loss to Drake Friday night at Jane Sanders Stadium.
“We gave a good, solid effort in the first game against UAlbany and Drake was just a better team in the second, so it was bittersweet,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “I’m proud of my team for the fight they had this year. They showed a lot of character and we have nothing to hang our heads about.”
The Cougars (36-22, 13-1, West Coast Conference) outhit the Great Danes (32-16, 13-3 America East) 13 to four in five innings, due to the NCAA eight-run rule.
In a rematch of yesterday’s one-run loss, BYU fell again to Drake (45-11, 24-1 Missouri Valley Conference) after recording just three hits to the Bulldogs’ six in the nightcap.
Caitlyn Alldredge and Briielle Breland both smashed home runs, going 2 for 2 at the plate with two and three RBI, respectively. Alldredge hit her 10th home run of the season and 23rd all-time. Breland hit her eighth of the season and 13th of her career. Lexi Tarrow also had two hits while Alexa Strid also recorded three RBI.
Autumn Moffat and Arianna Paulson shared pitching duties. Moffat improved to 9-7 with the win and Paulson tallied three strikeouts in two innings pitched.
The Cougars scored early and often in the bottom of the first inning with six runs on six hits. Jensen and Breland singled through the left side and up the middle, respectively, to put runners on first and second. Lexi Tarrow then bunted to third base as an UAlbany throwing error allowed the runners to advance two bases with Jensen coming home for a 1-0 lead.
Libby Sugg then singled up the middle to bring Breland and Tarrow in and make it 3-0. Alexa Strid reached on a fielder’s choice as Sugg got out at second. Strid stole second before Madison Merrell walked. Alldredge then smashed a three-run homer to left field for a score of 6-0.
BYU added another run in the second. Breland was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a passed ball. She moved to third as the Great Dane pitcher made a fielding error and came across while Fleener grounded out to second to go up 7-0.
Merrell led off in the third frame with a double to left center. Alldredge singled to third base before both runners stole a base. Brooke Vander Heide delivered on a sacrifice fly and scored Merrell. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Breland crushed a two-run dinger over the left-center fence with two outs to make it 10-0.
In the fourth, Merrell and Alldredge walked before Olivia Sanchez sent a double to left center, scoring Merrell. Pinch hitter Allie Hancock was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Erin Miklus walked to send Alldredge in before Ashley Godfrey singled down the right-field line to move the runners up and score Sanchez for a 13-0 advantage.
Strid continued the scoring with a three-RBI double to right center as Godfrey, Miklus and Hancock brought in BYU’s final runs.
Fleener went 2 for 3 at the plate with one double and one single. Vander Heide added the Cougars’ other hit on a well-placed bunt.
Moffat, Kerisa Viramontes and Paulson all saw time in the circle. Moffat and Viramontes recorded two strikeouts apiece while Paulson totaled three.
Drake scored two runs in the top of the first on two hits. A walk put Kennedy Frank on base before she moved to third as Macy Johnson doubled to right field. Taryn Pena reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second as Johnson got caught in a rundown at third. Kailee Smith singled to center field as two runners came across for a 2-0 lead.
With one out in the third, Vander Heide laid down a bunt, Jensen walked and Breland was hit by a pitch to load the bases. The runners were stranded as Bulldog pitcher Nicole Timmons struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
The Bulldogs added another run in the top of the sixth. Two walks and a double to left center from Smith loaded the bases. Nicole Newman then walked to bring a runner home and make it 3-0.
BYU softball was picked tied for first in conference as voted on by the West Coast Conference coaches, the league…