Bravo and Thompson's 11 combined RBI fuel sweep on final day of Mary Nutter
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- Gordy Bravo and Ashley Thompson manufactured key situational hitting as BYU softball collected wins against Indiana and Oregon State on Saturday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
The Cougars (9-6) used timely hitting with solid pitching to defeat the Hoosiers (2-13) 5-3 in the morning game before using an eight-run fourth inning to tame the Beavers (10-5) 14-5 in five innings.
"I'm proud of them," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "We were a little mentally and physically tired, but we battled through it for a really nice day. We hit the ball hard and we were clicking on all cylinders."
Thompson had a stellar second game with five RBI, ending the day going 4-for-6 at the plate with a walk, double, and her first home run of the season. In the leadoff spot, Gordy Bravo gave the Cougars a jump start with her six RBI, two doubles, a walk and one stolen base while also hitting 4-for-6 on the day through the two games.
Other standouts for BYU include senior Lacey Hofstedt's 4-for-6 day at the plate with three RBI, three runs scored and one stolen base. Pitcher McKenna Bull picked up both wins on the day, improving her record to 9-3. The sophomore powered the defense by limiting Indiana to three earned runs and Oregon State to two, tallying eight strikeouts and four walks through 12 innings on the day.
The 9-6 win-loss record through 15 games matches the team's best start since 2012 when BYU also began 9-6.
The Cougars retired six of the first seven batters of the game en route to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second. With one out and bases loaded, the senior Hofstedt picked up her fourth RBI on the season with an infield single. The leadoff hitter Bravo then continued her consistent hitting, this time cashing in with three RBI off a double to center field.
The Hoosiers started to chip away at the deficit with two outs in the top of the third. Kayla Mathewson advanced from second to third on Rebecca Blitz's base hit and then scored on an error to make the score 4-1.
After BYU left one runner on third base to end the third, Indiana tacked on another run in the top of the fourth on a bases-loaded walk for a 4-2 score.
Both teams battled until the Cougars finally struck again in the bottom of the sixth. McKenzie St. Clair singled to third as the first batter of the frame. Then with one out, Alexa Strid reached base on a hit-by-pitch before Hofstedt singled for her second hit of the game. Bravo then collected her fourth RBI on the day with a sacrifice fly to score St. Clair, stretching the lead to 5-2.
Trying to rally in the top of the seventh, the Hoosiers put the tying runners aboard with a double and a base hit. With runners on the corners, a fielder's choice led to run scored by Taylor Uden from third, cutting the lead to 5-3.
BYU got the second out with a pop-out to the pitcher, but walked the following batter to put runners on first and second. Bull then cooled any hopes of an Indiana comeback as she struck out the final batter swinging.
BYU began the game by scoring two runs in each of the first three innings while Oregon State kept the contest in reach with one run in each frame of the same span.
In the top of the first, Thompson hit a two-run double to right center to score O'Connor and Bravo, but the Beavers scored on a single as McKenna Arriola crossed home plate in the bottom of the inning. In the second the Cougars scored two more as St. Clair reached home on an error and Coco Tauali'i scored on a wild pitch.
After Oregon State scored in the bottom of the second, BYU tacked on another two in the third with Thompson's two-run homer to center for a four-run lead, 6-2. The Beavers scored one in the bottom of half of the inning to try to swing momentum their way, 6-3.
In the top of the fourth the Cougars opened a flood of scoring with eight runs. Hofstedt scored on a fielder's choice for the first of the frame, and Thompson helped with two more runs as she took a 2-2 pitch to left field for a base hit and her fifth RBI of the game. Sydney Broderick followed with an RBI-single to increase the BYU advantage to 10-3.
A walked-in run increased the lead followed by Hofstedt's second single of the inning, cashing in two more RBI. Bravo then hit a two-run double before the inning ended with the score 14-3.
The Beavers scored one run in each of the final two frames, but BYU clinched the win with the eight-run mercy rule after five innings.
The Cougars travel to Mexico next week for a four-game stint in the Puerto Vallarta Challenge Thursday through Saturday.
BYU softball will hold walk-on tryouts at Gail Miller Field on Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. MDT.