Cameron Muh | Posted: 18 Feb 2023 | Updated: 27 Feb 2023

BYU beats Illinois State in eight innings, 2-1

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Huntyr Ava home run against Illinois State on February 18, 2023

TEMPE, Ariz. — BYU softball outlasted Illinois State in extra innings, 2-1 in the Littlewood Classic at Farrington Stadium on Saturday afternoon.


Player Highlights

  • Chloe Temples: 8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 6 K
  • Martha Epenesa: 1-3, RBI
  • Huntyr Ava: 1-4, R, RBI

The Redbirds struck first in the bottom of the first, opening with a leadoff double and bringing the runner around to score on another double to take an early 1-0 lead.

Huntyr Ava answered for the Cougars, leading off the top of the second inning with a home run to left field, to tie the game at 1-1. Ava's solo shot was her first homer of the season and BYU’s sixth in the last two days

Both teams had runners aboard in the ensuing innings, including Illinois State, who had two on with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, but the Cougars closed the door with three consecutive outs, including a throw from Ava to Hailey Morrow at the plate, preventing the winning run from scoring. 

Going to extras, BYU began the eighth inning with a runner on second in Ailana Agbayani. Maddie Bejarano bunted into a groundout, but advanced Agbayani to third. Martha Epenesa then singled to left center, scoring the go-ahead run.

Ava roped a ball into right center, but it was taken away by Illinois State’s right fielder, denying the Cougars an insurance run opportunity and keeping the score at 2-1, BYU. 

After two quick outs, the Redbirds' opening runner on second moved to third on a passed ball, gaining another baserunner on a full-count walk, but the Cougars got a fly out two pitches later to end the game in extras for their fifth-consecutive win. 

BYU will face DePaul in the second game of the Saturday doubleheader at 2:05 p.m. MST to conclude their Littlewood Classic action. 

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