BYU falls to North Carolina in season opener
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mex. — BYU softball fell to North Carolina, 2-0, in the first game of its 2023 season-opening doubleheader in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge at Nancy Almaraz Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
Chloe Temples pitched a complete game with four hits and two runs allowed through 25 batters faced. The Cougars were unable to overcome UNC pitcher Bailey McCachren as they totaled just three hits and four runners left on base.
- Chloe Temples: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 6 K
- Maddie Bejarano: 2-3
- Alexis Gilio: 1-2
Temples started the season off in the circle for the Cougars, retiring the first batter she faced and keeping UNC off the board in the opening inning. UCF transfer Bejarano was the lone Cougar batter to reach base in the bottom of the first. Bejarano’s first BYU career hit took her to first on a grounder before she was left on base with a pop-out to center field.
The Tar Heel offense arrived in the second inning with the powder blue batters taking advantage of a mishandled BYU pitch to load the bases. Temples and catcher Andrewjeski recovered but not before UNC sent a runner home from third, seizing the 1-0 lead.
Carolina extended its lead to 2-0 in the top of the third after sending another runner home on a pop-fly that came down just inside fair territory along the left field line.
BYU kept the Tar Heels off the board in the top of the fourth as it caught two runners stealing. Despite a hit by pitch in the bottom of the fourth, Violet Zavodnik was unable to advance beyond first.
The Cougars came closest to scoring in the bottom of the sixth as lead-off batter Alexis Gilio climbed aboard on an infield single that came off the shortstop’s glove. Moments later, Bejarano gave BYU two hits on its first four pitches of the inning. UNC clamped down from there, forcing out Gilio at third, Ava at first and collecting a fly ball to center from Agbayani.
While Temples, Agbayani and Ava combined for three quick outs in the top of the seventh, BYU’s batters were unable to respond and saw the Tar Heels complete the 2-0 shutout.
BYU continues its Thursday doubleheader versus Wisconsin at 6 p.m. CST with a live stream again available through FloSoftball.
BYU softball head coach Gordon Eakin named Allie Hancock-Schneemann assistant coach on Tuesday.