Zavodnik, Korth lead BYU in doubleheader sweep of UNLV, Portland State
ST. GEORGE, Utah — Fueled by a pair of home runs from Violet Zavodnik and 23 total strikeouts by Kaysen Korth, BYU softball swept its Friday doubleheader over UNLV and Portland State in the Trailblazer Tournament at Karl Brooks Field.
Korth fanned 15 Rebel batters in the Cougars' first game against UNLV, trying a school record for most strikeouts in a single game.
Game 1: BYU 9 - UNLV 2
- Kaysen Korth: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 15 K
- Violet Zavodnik, 3-3, R, 5 RBI
- Maddie Bejarano: 2-3, 2 R
- Hailey Morrow: 1-3, 2 RBI
BYU struck first in the bottom of the second inning as Breezy Hayward, making her first career-start, led off being hit by a pitch. With Lexie Bennett pinch running for Hayward, Zavodnik singled up the middle to move Bennett to third. Lauren Flanders then dropped a bunt single that would score Bennett and put the Cougars in front 1-0 early.
Blowing it open in the following inning, BYU got its first two runners on with an Ailana Agbayani walk and Maddie Bejarano bunt single. Mallory Barber then poked a single down the right field line to load the bases.
A sacrifice fly allowed Agbayani to tag up and score and then Zavodnik sent a 3-run homer over the right field fence to give the Cougars a 5-0 lead.
Bejarano opened the bottom of the fifth inning with a double and Hailey Morrow walked, with Taryn Lennon coming in to pinch run for Morrow. Facing a 2-2 count with two outs, Zavodnik delivered again, hitting a single to center that scored both Bejarano and Lennon to put the Cougars ahead 7-0 through five.
UNLV got those two runs back in the top of the sixth, leading off with a single and then a 2-run homer to center, making it 7-2, BYU.
The Cougars added back to their lead in the bottom of the sixth inning as Epenesa doubled and Agbayani was hit by a pitch, with Jaelynn Lambert pinch running for Epenesa. Both Lambert and Agbayani advanced a base on Bejarano’s groundout, coming around to score on Morrow’s single up the middle to lead 9-2.
Threatening in the seventh with two runners on and two outs, the Rebels fouled out to end the game.
Game 2: BYU 8 - Portland State 3
- Kaysen Korth: 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 8 K
- Hailey Morrow: 3-4, 3 R, 3 RBI
- Breezy Hayward: 2-4, 2 RBI
- Mallory Barber: 2-2, R, RBI
- Violet Zavodnik: 1-3, R, 2 RBI
After two quick outs to open the game, BYU recorded three-straight base hits to take a 2-0 lead. Bejarano singled, Morrow doubled to score Bejarano, and Barber singled to score Morrow, putting the Cougars up by two runs early.
Portland State answered in the bottom of the second, tallying two doubles and a single, also benefitting from a BYU error to go ahead 3-2, after two.
The Cougars responded in the top of the third, doing all of their damage with two outs. Morrow and Barber both singled before Hayward doubled to score the pair. Bennett pinch ran for Hayward, bringing up Zavodink, who sent out a 2-run jack to center field, her second of the day, giving the Cougars a 6-3 advantage.
Loading the bases in the fourth and sixth innings, the Vikings threatened, but Korth, who entered in relief in the fourth inning, was able to get out of the jam on both occasions, striking out two batters in the fourth and the side in the sixth.
BYU added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh, with Bejarano earning a leadoff walk and Morrow launching a 2-run shot to center field, making it 8-3, Cougars.
PSU got a runner aboard with a walk, but proceeded to flout and strikeout to end the game and seal BYU’s second victory of the day.
The Cougars will close out the Trailblazer Tournament on Saturday, March 4 with a matinee matchup against Idaho State. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. MST, and the game will be streamed on WAC International.
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