Morrow homers in extras as BYU beats Saint Mary's
MORAGA, Calif. — A 12th-inning home run by Hailey Morrow helped BYU softball to a 1-0 series-opening win over Saint Mary’s at Cottrell Field on Friday evening.
The Cougars (32-14, 11-2 WCC) recorded seven hits to the Gaels’ five, with none bigger than Morrow’s solo shot, the ninth of the freshman catcher’s 2023 campaign.
With the victory in extra innings, BYU became the fifth NCAA Division-I team to win a 1-0 game in 12 innings or more this season.
- Hailey Morrow: 2-4, HR, RBI
- Violet Zavodnik: 1-5, 2B
- Kaysen Korth: 12 IP, 5 H, 12 K
A pitcher’s duel throughout, neither team had more than one runner on base in a frame until the 10th inning, combining for just five three hits and three walks through the first seven.
In extras, Saint Mary’s had at least one runner aboard in every inning except the 10th, popping up sacrifice bunt attempts in three separate innings, with the third becoming a double play as Martha Epenesa threw out the Gaels’ runner at first.
BYU went down in order in top of the eighth before leaving a runner stranded in the ninth inning. The Cougars saw their best opportunity up to that point erased in the top of the 10th inning after Violet Zavodnik doubled to left center and Huntyr Ava walked, but an inning-ending double play got SMC out of the inning.
Threatening again in the top of the 11th, Mallory Barber reached base on an error, moved to second on a wild pitch, and advanced to third to Agbayani’s sacrifice bunt. BYU then attempted a safety squeeze that got both Barber and Bejarano into pickles, with both runners getting tagged out to end the inning.
Saint Mary’s got two runners on for its first time in the game in the bottom of the 11th before failing to lay down a sacrifice bunt for the third time on Epenesa double play pop out. Intentionally walking the next Gael to load the bases, Korth tossed a three-pitch strikeout to get the Cougars out of the jam.
Morrow then led off the top of the 12th inning for BYU and launched a solo homer to left center, scoring the game’s first and only run after nearly three hours of play to put the Cougars ahead 1-0.
SMC again got a runner aboard with one out in the home half of the 12th inning, but a first pitch pop out and swinging strikeout on a full count, Korth’s 12th of the contest, closed out the 1-0 marathon win for BYU.
The Cougars and Gaels will hit the field again on Saturday, May 13 in a regular-season concluding doubleheader beginning at Noon PDT. Both games will be streamed on the WCC Network.
BYU softball head coach Gordon Eakin named Allie Hancock-Schneemann assistant coach on Tuesday.