Kristen Kerr | Posted: 31 Mar 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars fall to Bison and No. 7/8 Sun Devils

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TEMPE, Ariz. – BYU softball fell to North Dakota State 3-2 and No. 7/8 Arizona State 10-3 on the final day of the ASU Invitational on Saturday.

Despite outhitting the Bison (20-12) with 11 hits while allowing six and playing an error-free game, the Cougars (17-18) suffered a one-run defeat in their first matchup of the day.

In the nightcap, the highly-ranked Sun Devils (31-4, 5-1 Pac-12) produced 10 runs on nine hits while holding BYU to four hits in an ASU win.

Game one

Seven Cougars had hits against the Bison, led by two from Rylee Jensen, Libby Sugg and Alexa Strid. Jensen and Madison Merrell scored one run apiece while Sugg and Briielle Breland both added one RBI as well.

Autumn Moffat and Arianna Paulson shared pitching duties for BYU, recording two and three strikeouts, respectively.

North Dakota State got on the board early in the first inning as a double to deep center field from Vanessa Anderson brought in two walked batters for a 2-0 lead.

In the third frame, Merrell and Jensen hit back-to-back singles up the middle. Breland then singled down left-field line as Jensen advanced to second and Merrell scored to bring the score to 2-1. After Lexi Tarrow grounded out to first, moving up the runners, Sugg singled to right center and Jensen came across to even the score 2-2.

The Bison scored the winning run in the fourth when Stephanie Soriano got on base with a single before advancing two bases on groundouts to second and third, respectively. A single up the middle from Madyson Camacho brought Soriano in to give North Dakota State the winning margin.

BYU vs. North Dakota State Box Score

Game two

Some highlights for the Cougars in the nightcap included both Breland and Jensen going 2 for 3 at the plate while scoring one and two runs, respectively. Breland hit a double and home run with one RBI while Sugg added an RBI as well.

Kerisa Viramontes, Paulson, Moffat and Olivia Sanchez all saw action from the circle for the Cougars. Sanchez totaled two strikeouts while Moffat recorded one.

BYU got on the board early in the first with a 1-0 lead. Jensen led off with a well-placed bunt and Breland reached on a throwing error by the ASU third baseman to move Jensen over. Strid then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Sugg hit a sacrifice fly to right field, bringing Jensen home for a 1-0 lead.

The momentum changed when the Sun Devils took a 4-1 advantage in the bottom of the second as Kindra Hackbarth hit a grand slam to center field.

In the third frame, Breland sent a homer over the left-field fence for the Cougars to narrow the deficit to 4-2. However, a double to left field from ASU’s Bella Loomis scored two more runs in the bottom of the third to push the Sun Devils' advantage to 6-2.

Arizona State also added three more runs in the fourth inning. Jade Gortarez singled to right field before Morgan Howe doubled to center field to score Gortarez for a 7-2 lead. Marisa Stankiewicz later hit a two-run homer to center field to go up 9-2.

BYU got on the scoreboard again in the top of the fifth. Jensen singled up the middle and Breland doubled to center field as Jensen moved up to third. Jensen advanced home on a wild pitch to make it 9-3.

Stankiewicz hit her second dinger of the game to right field in the bottom of the sixth for the final run of the game.

BYU vs. No. 7/8 Arizona State Box Score

The Cougars travel to Logan, Utah, on Tuesday to play Utah State before beginning conference play against Santa Clara at home on April 5-6.

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