Ava helps Cougars run past Aggies, 10-5
PROVO, Utah — A six-run second inning fueled BYU softball to a 10-5 victory over Utah State at Gail Miller Field on Tuesday night.
The Cougars (24-13, 4-2 WCC) shook off a third-inning attack from the Aggies to secure the win. BYU recorded seven hits to Utah State’s six, and also benefitted from an Aggie error.
- Huntyr Ava: 2-2, HR, 4 RBI
- Hailey Morrow: 1-3, 2 RBI
- Martha Epenesa: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI
- Ailana Agbayani: 1-3, R | 4 IP, 1 H, 2 K
BYU got out of a two on, two-out jam with a Chloe Temples strikeout in the top of the first, and proceeded to take a quick lead in its home half of the inning.
After Maddie Bejarano drew a walk, Huntyr Ava took the first pitch she saw over the left field wall, homering for a team-leading ninth time this season and putting the Cougars up 2-0 through one.
Two walks gave the Aggies two runners on with just one out in the top of the second inning, but a pop out and another strikeout, Temples’ third of the game, kept USU scoreless.
Batting around the order in the bottom of the second, BYU scored six runs to go ahead 8-0. Violet Zavodnik led off the bottom of the second with a double that bounced to the wall in left center. The Cougars loaded the bases with two outs after Mallory Barber was hit by a pitch and Ailana Agbayani walked.
Bejarano and Ava both drew walks to bring in Zavodnik and Barber, forcing a Utah State pitching change. Hailey Morrow then singled up the middle to score Agbayani and Bejarano, and Martha Epenesa doubled to the right center wall to bring in Ava and Morrow, giving BYU an eight-run advantage.
The Aggies loaded the bases in the third with a single off the center field wall and two walks, cutting the lead in half on a grand slam to left center, making it 8-4, Cougars.
Each team went down in order in their next half inning before BYU added to its lead in the bottom of the fourth. Bejarano doubled to right center, and Ava singled off the second baseman’s glove to bring her home. Lexie Bennett, Ava’s pinch runner, moved to second on a Morrow walk, third on a groundout and came in to score on a failed pickoff attempt to make it 10-4.
Utah State sent a solo home run to left field in the top of the sixth, but the Cougars kept the Aggies at bay from there to close out their 10-5 win.
BYU will next host Utah Tech on Wednesday, April 26 at 5 p.m. MDT. The game will be televised on BYUtv and streamed on the BYUtv app.
BYU softball will hold walk-on tryouts at Gail Miller Field on Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. MDT.