Cougars bounce back in 5-3 defeat of UNLV
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif.—The BYU softball team bounced back on day two of the Mary Nutter Classic with a 5-3 comeback victory over UNLV on Friday in Palm Springs.
"We didn't start as well as we should have, missing some opportunities offensively in the first inning, but we did finish better today," said BYU head coach Gordon Eakin. "We're fighting and I was happy with today's overall effort."
BYU (5-8) had nine hits to UNLV's (5-6) four on the day. The Cougars were down 3-1 heading into the top of the sixth, but scored four runs in the sixth and seventh inning to take home its first win at the Mary Nutter Classic.
Alexandra Hudson Shamo went 3 for 4 in the game with one RBI to lead BYU offensively. JC Clayton and Marissa Bravo also had two hits apiece and each scored a run for the Cougars. Hannah Howell collected the win after relieving Tori Almond in the bottom of the fourth inning. Howell gave up only one hit in her best outing of the season so far, alongside three strikeouts in 3.2 innings pitched.
BYU combined four singles in the top of the first to score one run, but left three on base. UNLV struck back in the bottom of the inning with one run of its own to even the score. However, the Cougars turned a 4-6-3 double play, their fourth of the season, to end the inning and get out of a jam.
Both teams stayed quiet until the bottom of the fourth when Almond hit the leadoff batter for UNLV and allowed a double to right center to score the runner. BYU brought in Howell with no outs and a runner on second in relief of Almond. Howell sat down the first two batters she faced, but a Cougar error gave the Rebels an opening. With runners on first and third, Pauline Monreal doubled down the left field line to bring in another run and take a 3-1 lead heading into the fifth.
BYU made its comeback with a three-run inning in the top of the sixth. The Cougars scored their first run following two walks and two singles from Shamo and Jenna Goar. With the bases loaded, BYU scored the tying run on a wild pitch and then Megan Arnold sent the go-ahead run in on a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to put BYU up 4-3. UNLV ended the inning after Coryn Taulai’i was picked off trying to steal home.
Bravo doubled with one out in the top of the seventh en route to an insurance run for BYU in the inning. Manuma followed Bravo with her second-straight walk of the game and then Shamo struck again with a single down the left-field line to put BYU up 5-3 heading into the bottom of the frame. Two pop flies and a ground out in the bottom of the inning sealed the 5-3 victory for BYU.
The Cougars will play two games on Saturday to finish off the Mary Nutter Classic, starting off against Northwestern at 12:00 p.m. PST and closing out the tournament against UC Santa Barbara at 2:30 p.m. PST.
BYU softball will hold walk-on tryouts at Gail Miller Field on Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. MDT.