Cougars drop doubleheader to Gaels in regular season finale
MORAGA, Calif. — BYU softball was shut out in a doubleheader (2-0, 2-0) at Saint Mary’s to conclude its regular season slate at Cottrell Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars (32-16, 11-4 WCC) tallied just seven hits between the two games and left a total of eight runners on base, with none advancing past second base.
Game 1: SMC 2 | BYU 0
Saint Mary’s got two on with two outs in the bottom of the second inning, as did BYU in the top of the third, but a pop out and ground out would end both of the early rallies.
- Huntyr Ava: 1-3, 2B
- Chloe Temples: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 7 K
The Gaels opened up a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning after a leadoff double, sacrifice bunt and infield single. Producing a 5-4-3 double play on the next at-bat, the Cougars kept SMC from adding another run.
Martha Epenesa led off the top of the fifth inning with a single into right field, but a strikeout and two fielder’s choices where Saint Mary’s got the lead runner out kept BYU scoreless.
Huntyr Ava chopped a two-out double down the left field line in the top of the sixth, but a groundout got the Gaels out of the inning.
Saint Mary’s added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth with a one-out double, single through the left side and sacrifice fly to go ahead 2-0.
Down to their final three outs, the Cougars got the leadoff runner aboard as Violet Zavodnik was hit by a pitch. Zavodnik was thrown out at second as Epenesa reached on a fielder’s choice, but Gaels turned a double play to earn the 2-0 shutout win.
Game 2: SMC 2 | BYU 0
Ailana Agbayani slapped a double down the left field line to lead off game two, but two strikeouts and a pop out left her stranded.
- Ailana Agbayani: 1-2, 2B
Saint Mary’s struck first once more, leading off the bottom of the second with a single to shallow center, walk, sacrifice bunt and infield single to take a 1-0 lead.
The Gaels added an insurance run in the third after reaching first on a BYU error, wild pitch and single to right center, going ahead 2-0.
Tristen Turlington picked up a one-out single to left field in the top of the fifth, but a foul out and line out closed the door on the Cougar attack.
Leading off the sixth inning, Agbayani drew a walk and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, but was left stranded after an inning-ending strikeout.
After a quick 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the sixth, BYU was again down to its final three outs. Two strikeouts and a fly out sealed the Cougars’ fate as they were shut out in consecutive games for the first time all season.
BYU will now await the NCAA’s Selection Show that will air on Sunday, May 14 at 5 p.m. MDT on ESPN2 to determine its postseason fate.
BYU softball will hold walk-on tryouts at Gail Miller Field on Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. MDT.