Mike Miller | Posted: 5 May 2023 | Updated: 6 Jun 2023

Turlington’s three home runs see BYU to doubleheader sweep of Pacific

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Tristen Turlington celebrating with her teammates
Tristen Turlington batting Tristen Turlington celebrating with her teammates Violet Zavodnik celebrating Huntyr Ava running home after a home run Kaysen Korth pitching BYU rolling up the field tarp

PROVO, Utah — Freshman Tristen Turlington entered BYU softball’s Friday doubleheader versus Pacific with no career home runs and just three RBI before registering three homers and eight RBI across the two games to power BYU to a pair of wins at Gail Miller Field.

Turlington had two go over the fence in game one—including the team’s fourth grand slam this season—as the Cougars earned a 10-2 run-rule victory after six innings in game one. The second contest went to extra innings, with Turlington ending the evening with a walk-off, three-run blast as BYU won 6-3 after nine frames.

Huntyr Ava also had a pair of homers in game one. In game two the Cougars trailed 3-1 with two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the seventh before Violet Zavodnik added a home run of her own to force extras.

Pitcher Kaysen Korth earned the win in both games, improving to 17-7 in her freshman season and moving into second place for most wins by a freshman pitcher in program history. She pitched a complete game in the first contest, throwing seven strikes on just three hits. Korth was then asked to come on in relief in game two, where she threw 3 1/3 innings without allowing a hit.

Game One: BYU 10 | Pacific 2 (6)


Player Highlights

  • Huntyr Ava: 2-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI
  • Tristen Turlington: 3-3, 2 HR, 5 RBI
  • Kaysen Korth: 6.0 IP, 7 K, 3 H

Pacific opened the game with an RBI single to center field in the top of the first. The Cougars responded in their half of the inning with a solo home run by Ava. The shot to left field evened the score at 1-1 and improved the senior’s long ball streak to three games.

BYU took the lead in the third as rain started to fall in Provo. Alexis Gilio led off the inning with a walk before a sacrifice bunt moved her to second. Being in scoring position would pay off in the next at-bat as Maddie Bejarano singled to right to bring home Gilio.

Ava then added two more scores for the Cougars with her second home run of the game. She once again went over the left field fence, improving her team-highs to 15 homers and 46 RBI on the season.

The home run barrage continued in the fourth inning with Turlington’s first-career homer. The freshman cleared the scoreboard in right field to improve BYU’s lead to 5-1.

The Tigers got a home run of their own to bring the BYU lead back to three in the fifth. Bejarano then earned a walk to lead off the bottom of the inning for the Cougars before the game was stopped for a rain delay.

BYU did not miss a beat despite the 45-minute stoppage, loading the bases after Pacific’s new pitcher gave up a walk and hit Zavodnik with a pitch. Turlington then landed her second home run of the game with a grand slam to center field.

The freshman’s five RBI from the two homers brought her total to 12 on the season, which includes nine in the last five games. She would finish the evening with 15 RBI this year, 12 of which came in the last six games.

The Cougars had two more runners on base in the frame but ended the inning without any additional runs and a 9-2 lead. Their defense would continue to keep the Tigers at bay in the next inning, with a double play and Korth’s seventh strikeout keeping the lead at seven.

The game ended on the run rule in the sixth inning when BYU added another score to go up by eight. Agbayani had a leadoff single after a short bunt up the middle and later advanced to second thanks to a Pacific error. A double from Hailey Morrow off the fence in right was then enough to bring Agbayani home and end the game with a 10-2 BYU win.

Game Two: BYU 6 | Pacific 3 (9)


Player Highlights

  • Violet Zavodnik: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Tristen Turlington: 1 HR, 3 RBI
  • Chloe Temples: 4.0 IP, 6 K, 5 H
  • Kaysen Korth: 3.1 IP, 2 K, 0 H, 0 R

Pacific started the second game with runners on the corners and only one out in the first inning, but pitcher Chloe Temples struck out the next two batters to prevent the Tigers from scoring. BYU also got two runners on base in the bottom of the inning but left both stranded.

Temples added two more strikeouts to open the second before a Pacific home run put the visitors up 1-0. The Cougars later evened the score in the third inning after Mallory Barber walked, with a fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly to deep center field by Bejarano enough to get Barber around the bases.

BYU had two more runners on base later in the inning that were unable to score, with another left on base in the fourth.

The Tigers took the lead with two runs in the fifth. A single and double put runners on second and third, with BYU then moving Agbayani to pitcher in hopes of getting out of the inning. The next batter would single to center, however, scoring both runners and giving Pacific a 3-1 advantage.

Agbayani started BYU’s comeback attempt in the bottom of the frame with a single up the middle. She was joined on base by Bejarano, who walked. Ava was up to bat next and nearly put the Cougars in front, but her home run bid flew just outside of the foul pole. A fielder’s choice to finish Ava’s at bat and a groundout by the next batter ended the inning with two left on base and the Tigers still holding a two-run advantage.

Zavodnik and Martha Epenesa both walked in the sixth inning, with Alyssa Podhurcak-Foss singling in between to help the Cougars load the bases with two outs, but Agbayani would ground out to end the inning, bringing BYU to nine runners left stranded to that point in the game.

Korth returned to the circle with two outs in the sixth, and her pitching kept BYU within striking distance. She got a ground out to end that inning with a runner on third, adding two more ground outs and a strikeout in the seventh.

The Cougars were down to their final out in their half of the seventh before Morrow was hit by a pitch. Zavodnik then stepped to the plate and sent the second pitch she saw over the fence in right center to tie the score at 3-3. The junior now has nine homers on the season and 35 RBI.

The game then went to extra innings, where Korth got six outs across the eighth and ninth frames. The Cougars had a runner in scoring position in the eighth but were unable to capitalize after Podhurcak-Foss reached on a walk before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt from Barber.

Ava doubled off the wall in right in the bottom of the ninth, with pinch runner Lo Salcedo moving to third on a fielder’s choice. A walk for Zavodnik would later give BYU two on with two outs. Turlington then came through for the Cougars again, hitting her third home run of her career and the night, this time over the left fence. She was previously 0-4 in game two, but her lone hit of the game was enough to give BYU the 6-3 victory.

The Cougars and Tigers close their three-game series tomorrow, Saturday, May 6, at a newly announced time of Noon. MDT. The contest is BYU’s final home game of the season and will honor Barber, Epenesa and Podhurcak-Foss on their Senior Day. BYUtv and the BYUtv app will carry the broadcast.

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