BYU wins both ends of home-opening doubleheader against Oklahoma State
"Both teams played great in the first game, and our bats just happened to catch fire in the second," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "That second game was just a total team effort, offensively, defensively and in the circle."
Bull led BYU to a 2-1 victory and her NCAA-leading 18th win in the first game for the Cougars, and freshman Strid hit her first collegiate home run in the nightcap as the Cougars downed the Cowgirls 10-2.
BYU (19-7) used timely defense and hitting, and a gem from its ace to edge out Oklahoma State (16-15) in the first game.
Bull struck out seven and allowed three hits en route to the win. Catcher Sydney Broderick threw out a runner stealing and recorded two hits, including the eventual game-winner.
After allowing a run in the top of the first, Bull held the Cowgirls scoreless the rest of the way, giving up only two hits over the last six frames.
Strong defense helped Bull's cause. With two outs in the top of the third, BYU left fielder Mercedes O'Connor sprinted toward the fence and made a tumbling catch over her shoulder to strand a runner. In the fifth, BYU center fielder Gordy Bravo made a diving catch in the right-center gap for the second out of the inning. An Oklahoma State runner appeared to tag up and score all the way from second, but Eakin appealed and the umpire determined the runner left early, giving the Cougar defense the third out of the inning.
BYU's bats struck in the fourth and sixth innings. In the fourth, Ashley Thompson roped a double down the right-field line to drive in Lauren Bell, who reached on a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by O'Connor.
With the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Broderick one-hopped a double to the fence in right center to score O'Connor from first.
Bull (18-4) put the Cowgirls down in order in the top of the seventh to preserve the 2-1 win.
A couple of big innings paced BYU to a win in the second game, as Thompson kept the Oklahoma State bats in check.
The Cougars batted around in the bottom of the second, using four hits, a walk and three Oklahoma State errors to score five runs and lead 5-0. Bravo, Bell, Thompson and Broderick all batted in runs in the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, St. Clair rocketed a double off the center-field fence to drive in a run and Coco Tauli'i singled in two more to increase BYU's lead to 8-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Strid's solo shot and an RBI-single from O'Connor put the game in the books for the Cougars, as they won 10-2 in five innings.
Thompson (1-1) gave up five hits in five innings, allowed one earned run and struck out four in a winning effort.
BYU takes on Oklahoma State to wrap up the three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. MDT at Gail Miller Field and takes on Utah Valley (11-20) afterward. Both games will be broadcast on BYUtv. Links to live stats and broadcast are available on the BYU softball schedule page.
BYU softball will hold walk-on tryouts at Gail Miller Field on Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. MDT.