Nate Slack | Posted: 1 May 2021 | Updated: 11 May 2021

Four RBI game for Zavodnik helps Cougars take game two of doubleheader

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LOS ANGELES – BYU softball split a doubleheader with LMU on Saturday, losing the first game in 10 innings, 3-2, and dominating the second, 9-1, in six innings.  

“We dropped a heartbreaker in game one,” said BYU head coach Gordon Eakin. “We played a solid game two to take the series. Our pitching this weekend was outstanding.”

Game One vs. Loyola Marymount | BYU: 2, LMU: 3 (10)

Game Highlights:

  • With a second-inning homer, Martha Epenesa is on a nine-game hit streak and has reached base in 13 straight games
  • HannahJo Peterson hit a game-tying home run in the fourth inning
  • Arissa Paulson pitched a complete game, finishing with a career-high 9 innings pitched

Player Highlights:

  • Arissa Paulson: 9 IP, 7H, 3ER, 6K, 5BB
  • Martha Epenesa: 1-4, RBI, HR
  • HannahJo Peterson: 1-4, RBI, HR

With the game tied at two apiece, BYU forced LMU into extra innings. Despite early scoring, BYU pitcher Arissa Paulson and LMU's Marina Vitalich fought through a pitching duel not allowing a run to score in five straight innings. Ultimately, a walk-off double for LMU closed out the game in the bottom of the 10th frame. 

In the second inning, Martha Epenesa put the Cougars up early 1-0 with a solo shot in the top of the inning for her fifth home run of the year.

The Lions answered in the bottom half of the inning with a two-out single that brought in a couple of runs to take a 2-1 lead after two.

HannahJo Peterson locked things up at 2-2 with a homer into right field in the leadoff spot in the top of the fourth.

For the remainder of the game, including extra innings, both pitchers completed in a pitchers due.

Loyola Marymount’s Marina Vitalich kept the Cougars from having a base runner until the eighth inning and pitched all 10 innings.

Arissa Paulson pitched nine innings, setting a new career-high and season-high for the Cougars. However, the Lions would take game one of the doubleheader with a walk-off double in the bottom of the 10th.

Game Two vs. Loyola Marymount | BYU: 9, LMU: 1 (6)

Game Highlights:

  • Violet Zavodnik nearly hit through the cycle, finishing with a double, triple and home run
  • Martha Epenesa is on a 10-game hit streak and has reached base in 14 straight games

Player Highlights:

  • Violet Zavodnik: 3-3, 4RBI, 2B, 3B, HR, BB
  • Autumn Moffat-Korth: 6.0 IP, 6H, 1ER, 4K, 0BB, 1-4, RBI
  • Huntyr Ava: 2-3, 3RBI, 2B
  • Rylee Jensen: 1-4, 2R, RBI, BB

After pitching 10 innings in game one, LMU's Marina Vitalich took the mound as the Lions’ starter in game two. BYU matched its total number of hits from game one in the top of the first and got on the board as Huntyr Ava doubled down the line to bring in Violet Zavodnik from second. However, the Cougar lead didn’t last long as the Lions tacked on a run off a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the first.

Vitalich was replaced after giving up a fourth hit in the second inning. Following the pitching change, Rylee Jensen singled to score Erin Miklus from second and Zavodnik tripled to bring in Jensen. Ava kept the Cougar offense rolling with a single that scored Zavodnik to put BYU up 4-1.

In the bottom of the fourth with bases loaded and no outs, Ava hit a sacrifice fly to deep center that brought in Taylei Williams for the Cougars’ fifth run and third RBI for Ava.

The BYU offense exploded in the sixth with four more runs, starting with a three-run homer by Zavodnik. With loaded bases, Autumn Moffat-Korth added an additional insurance run with a single through the gap between third and shortstop to give BYU a 9-1 lead.

Next up, the Cougars will travel to Cedar City to face SUU on Tuesday, May 4, at 3 p.m. MDT. The game will be streamed on Pluto TV.

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