Cameron Muh | Posted: 31 Mar 2023 | Updated: 8 Apr 2023

Cougars slide past Bulldogs, 5-3

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Huntyr Ava awaits the pitch at first base against Louisiana Tech on March 31, 2023

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.

Player Highlights

  • 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+.

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