Cameron Muh | Posted: 20 May 2021 | Updated: 30 Jul 2021

Cougars drop NCAA Tournament opener to Hokies

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Rylee Jensen at first base against San Diego

Tempe, Ariz. – BYU softball dropped its opening game of the NCAA Tournament, falling to No. 21 Virginia Tech 5-2 at Farrington Stadium on Thursday.

“We're never happy with a loss, but one of the things that this team needs to do is be resilient and bounce back tomorrow,” said BYU head coach Gordon Eakin. “I was not disappointed in the team's effort. I thought we executed our game plan pretty well on offense. Our goal was to not chase her rise ball and we didn't. Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the opponent because they outplayed you and I think that was the case today.”

Game Highlights:

  • Rylee Jensen hit a leadoff home run to left-center to start off the game with BYU ahead 1-0

Player Highlights:

  • Rylee Jensen: 1-2, 1 R, 1 RBI
  • Martha Epenesa: 1-2
  • Erin Miklus: 1-2

The Cougars jumped out to an early lead as Rylee Jensen opened the game with a solo home run to left-center, putting BYU up 1-0. 

Virginia Tech tied it up at 1-1 with a solo homer of their own in the second inning and then took a 4-1 lead in the third on four hits, a sacrifice fly and a passed ball. 

In the bottom of the fourth, Jensen threw a dagger from left-center in an attempt to get the Virginia Tech runner out at home. However, the umpires called the runner safe and the Hokies tacked on another run to make it 5-1. 

BYU rallied in the top of the seventh loading the bases on an Arissa Paulson walk, an Erin Miklus single and a Jensen walk. With only one out, HannahJo Peterson reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Taryn Lennon, who pinch ran for Paulson, to make it 5-2. But, a pop-up from Violet Zavodnik ending BYU’s late rally.

The Cougars will now play the loser of Arizona State and Southern Illinois on Friday, May 21. The game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. MDT and will be broadcast on ESPN3.