Cougars drop pair of games to open Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. — BYU softball saw its six-game win streak snapped on Thursday, dropping its first two games of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at the Big League Dreams Complex.
The Cougars fell to No. 21/24 Missouri, 11-3 in five innings before losing the second game of their doubleheader to Texas A&M, 8-6.
Game 1 vs. Missouri
Mizzou opened the scoring, hitting back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead.
BYU got one back in the top of the second, with Hunter Ava leading off with a single through the left side and Mallory Barber singling up the middle to move Ava to second.
Then pinch running for Ava, Taryn Lennon advanced to third off an Alyssa Podhurcak-Foss sacrifice bunt, and scored thanks to a Hailey Morrow sacrifice fly.
In the third inning, Maddie Bejarano earned a leadoff walk, bringing up Ailana Agbayani. The freshman shortstop squared up to bunt and reached on a Tiger throwing error, with the ball ending up in the outfield. A bobble by Missouri’s right fielder allowed both Bejarano and Agbayani to come around and score, making it 3-2, Cougars.
Getting two-consecutive singles to center and stealing second once, The Tigers plated one in their half of the third to tie the game at 3-3, through three.
Mizzou plated eight runs in the bottom of the fourth, homering twice in the frame to go ahead 11-3. BYU got a runner on in the fifth, but three groundouts would end the inning and close out the run-rule victory for the Tigers.
Game 2 vs. Texas A&M
Texas A&M came running out of the gates, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning on four hits, including three doubles.
BYU answered in the top of the second inning, loading the bases after both Ava and Martha Epenesa were by pitches and Morrow walked. Agbayani reached on a fielder's choice, but Lexie Bennett, pinch running for Ava, was thrown out at home.
Alexis Gilio singled, scoring Epenesa and Morrow scored on a Taryn Lennon groundout. Bejarano doubled to left field, scoring both Gilio and Agbayani to make it 5-4, Aggies.
A&M would add back to its lead, however, with a single, double and two-run home run in the bottom of the second, scoring three runs to go ahead 8-4.
The Cougars added a run in third as Jolee Benson singled through the right side, moving around to third on an Epenesa groundout and wild pitch, and scoring on an error by the Texas A&M catcher.
In similar fashion, BYU scored another run in the sixth inning, with Bejarano walking and moving to second on a wild pitch. She advanced to third on a Tristen Turlington groundout and then scored as Violet Zavodnik reached on an error, to bring the Cougars within two runs, at 8-6, A&M.
BYU got two runners on with one out in the seventh inning, but the Aggies got back-to-back swinging strikeouts from the Cougars to seal the 8-6 win.
Back in action tomorrow night, BYU will play the late game on Friday, Feb. 24. against San Diego State. First pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m. PST and the game will be streamed on FloSoftball.
BYU softball head coach Gordon Eakin named Allie Hancock-Schneemann assistant coach on Tuesday.