Cougars slide past Bulldogs, 5-3
BATON ROUGE, La. — BYU softball weathered a comeback attempt as it beat Louisiana Tech, 5-3 in game one of a doubleheader in the Purple and Gold Challenge at Tiger Park on Friday afternoon.
The Cougars went up 4-0 after the first two innings before scoring an insurance run in the sixth. BYU tallied six hits to Louisiana Tech’s five and also benefitted from one La. Tech error.
- Kaysen Korth: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 K
- Ailana Agbayani: 1-4, R, RBI
- Huntyr Ava: 1-2, R
- Violet Zavodnik: 1-3, 2 RBI
- Mallory Barber: 2-3, R
The Cougars plated three runs in the top of the first to take an early lead. Ailana Agbayani led off with a single up the middle, advanced to second on a Maddie Bejarano sacrifice bunt and moved to third on Huntyr Ava’s single.
Martha Epenesa reached on a fielder’s choice, and both her and Ava moved into scoring position on a Bulldog error that allowed Agbayani to score. An illegal Louisiana Tech pitch extended Violet Zavodnik’s at-bat, and her 2-RBI single through the right side scored Epenesa and Ava to take a 3-0 advantage.
Mallory Barber led off the top of the second inning with a double to left center, advancing and eventually scoring on back-to-back groundouts by Alexis Gilio and Agbayani to make it 4-0, BYU.
The Bulldogs cut into the lead in the bottom of the third, tallying two hits and a stolen base, with three walks and a wild pitch contributing to their three runs scored in the frame.
After scoreless fourth and fifth innings, Ava drew a leadoff walk in the sixth, and her pinch runner, Lexie Bennett, advanced to second on a Lauren Flanders groundout. Pinch hitter Tristen Turlington then earned her first career hit, an RBI single up the middle that scored Bennett and put the Cougars ahead 5-3.
Louisiana Tech threatened with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but a throw from Epenesa to Hailey Morrow cut off a Bulldog runner at the plate followed by a swinging strikeout and foul out to Epenesa to seal the 5-3 victory.
The Cougars will play No. 12 LSU for a second time this week in the nightcap of their doubleheader. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. CDT and will be streamed on SEC Network+.
BYU softball will hold walk-on tryouts at Gail Miller Field on Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. MDT.