cwrubell | Posted: 22 Mar 2017 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Two homers from Sugg highlight Cougar victory over rival No. 11 Utah

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PROVO, Utah – Two two-run home runs from Libby Sugg gave BYU softball the 4-3 victory over No. 11/13 Utah in the Deseret First Duel on Wednesday at Gail Miller Field.

“We played tremendous defense behind McKenna Bull,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "And this is Libby's third home run against Utah in two games, so it seems that she rises up against them. She is a very potent hitter anyways, but she seems to have good nights against Utah. Both teams want to win this game; it is an intense rivalry in all sports, and it is an important game to us, to them and to the fans in Utah. It doesn't matter if they are No. 11 in the country or No. 111 in the country. The rivalry game is the rivalry game, so it is a huge win. I have immense respect for Utah and their softball program."

Video Highlights

The Cougars (19-7, 0-0 West Coast Conference) finished with nine hits to the Utes' (21-5, 3-0 Pac-12) eight and tallied only one error. This is BYU's third win of the year over a ranked opponent after taking down then-No. 13 Washington and then-No. 11 Georgia. McKenna Bull recorded five strikeouts in the win, improving her record to 14-2. With this victory, she tied Paige Affleck in career wins with 91. Sugg ended with two hits and four RBI to lead the team. 

BYU vs. Utah Box Score

The game began with both teams recording a scoreless first inning, but the action ensued in the second inning with Bull striking out the first batter. Shortstop Alexa Strid quickly followed that up by getting the second out by catching a fly ball that came her way. But the Utes got on the board when a triple to right center allowed a runner to score. The Utes held a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the second inning.

Three Utah runners were all thrown out at first in the top of the third, quickly turning the inning over to BYU. A single from Lexi Tarrow preceded a two-run home run from Sugg that just barely stayed to the right of the left-field foul post, and the Cougars claimed the lead over the Utes, 2-1. 

Early in the fifth with the bases loaded and one out, a fly ball out to center left field was grabbed by Madison Merrell, tallying a second out but allowing a Ute runner to tag up and make it home, tying it 2-2. Another hit from a Utah batter allowed a second runner to slide into home before Bull walked a batter, loading the bases again, but a ground out from Lauren Bell to Ashley Thompson ended the inning.

The Cougars retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Sugg hit another homer, the ball sailing over centerfield, bringing home both Bell and herself. BYU claimed the advantage, 4-3.

Utah loaded the bases early in the sixth, but the Cougars battled and kept the Utes scoreless through the top of the sixth. 

In the top of the seventh, second baseman Bell grabbed a fly ball hit to her by the first Utah batter, and Bull then struck out a second batter, tallying the first and second outs of the top of the seventh inning. With a 2-2 count, a ground ball to Strid was scooped up and thrown to first, ending the game and solidifying the victory over the Utes. 

Up next, BYU will travel to Los Angeles to take on Dartmouth and UCLA in back-to-back doubleheaders on Friday, March 24, at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. PDT and Saturday, March 25, at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. PDT. Live stats will be available on the BYU softball schedule page. 

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