Hicken's walk-off caps doubleheader sweep
Provo, Utah-Bailie Hicken’s walk-off double highlighted BYU softball’s two-game sweep Saturday, with a 12-1 victory against Colorado Northwestern Community College and a 4-3 defeat over Southern Utah at Gail Miller Field.
Hicken was 5-for-7 on the day and smacked that walk-off double for BYU (5-0-1) in game two to help the Cougars defeat SUU (4-4). Marissa Bravo was also 5-for-6 for the Cougars on the day.
“We competed better today especially with some of our key players out with injury,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “It’s nice to see the players step up and win two games, finished off by a quality comeback against SUU.”
In game one against CNCC, BYU grabbed the early lead. Hicken led off with a double and scored the first run of the day on an RBI single from Bravo.
CNCC pushed one run through in the top of the second to tie the game at 1-1.
With two on and two out in the bottom of the third, Bravo connected for her second hit of the day to bring in both runners and give BYU the 3-1 lead in the first of a split doubleheader.
In the bottom of the fourth, Alexandra Hudson Shamo smashed a ball over the right field fence for a two-run home run to start a six-run rally. Lacey Millett pushed in one run on an infield single and Bravo followed with her second double of the day to clear the bases and bring the score to 9-1.
Tori Almond came in relief for the Cougars in the top of the fifth after a solid performance from Hannah Howell on the mound. Howell gave up only one run on three hits and earned six strikeouts in her four innings pitched to earn the win.
Megan Arnold connected for a home run of her own in the bottom of the fifth to put the Cougars up 10-1. BYU then scored two more in the bottom of the sixth to take the 12-1 victory.
In the nightcap, BYU struck again early and scored off a wild pitch to take the 1-0 lead.
SUU pushed across one run on four consecutive hits in the bottom of the second, but BYU’s defense held strong for two quick outs to escape the inning with the bases loaded.
The score remained tied until SUU laced four hits to push in two runs in the top of the sixth.
BYU gained one run back in the bottom of the inning when Bravo smashed an RBI line drive down the left field line to cut the T-bird lead to one.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Shamo secured a walk to represent the tying run. Pinch hitter Jenna Goar came up next and hit a double to left center to bring in Shamo for the 3-3 tie. With a runner on second and first, Hicken smoked a walk-off double to right field for the 4-3 Cougar victory.
Caroline Umphlett, who pitched the full game, earned her first win of the fall season.
“Gordy Bravo led us this weekend, Bailie Hicken had a tremendous few games and Lacey Millett was also able to contribute with timely hitting,” Eakin said. “JC Clayton was also our emotional leader throughout the weekend and Jenna Goar was clutch for us when we needed her. All in all, it was a solid performance from the team.”
BYU will close out its fall season on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Dixie College in a doubleheader at 11 a.m. MDT and 1:30 p.m. MDT.
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