SANTEE, Calif. — Sophomore pitcher Tori Almond threw a complete game for her first win of the year as the BYU softball team defeated Cal State Northridge, 4-1, then came back to beat Saint Joseph's, 3-2, in extra innings at the San Diego Classic on Friday.
Almond struck out seven with no walks to help the Cougars defeat the Matadors for the second time this season after a previous 11-1 victory at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic.
Junior JC Clayton and sophomore Jenna Goar each hit RBI doubles for BYU while Delaney Willard and Katie Manuma added two hits apiece as BYU earned its 10th win of the season.
Walks from Jessica Dugas and Stacie Toney and a single by Willard quickly loaded the bases in the top of the first, enabling a run to score on a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead.
Both teams went back and forth over the next four innings scoreless as both Almond and Matador pitcher Mia Pagano continued to retire batters. BYU extended its lead to 2-0 on Clayton's double that scored Alexandra Hudson from second, but Cal State Northridge came right back in the bottom of the inning with a run after three consecutive singles.
Needing a cushion on the one-run lead, Goar stepped up with the bases loaded and two outs. The Littleton, Colo., native didn't disappoint, smacking a two-run double to left, scoring Hudson and Toney to bring BYU's lead up, 4-1.
Almond needed just six pitches in the bottom of the inning to retire the Matadors and end the game for her fifth career complete game.
In its second game at the tournament, BYU answered Saint Joseph's in the sixth and eighth innings, scoring two in the bottom of the eighth to get past the Hawks.
After trading runs in the sixth, Saint Joseph's tacked on another in the eighth on a quick single that brought in the runner placed on second according to international tiebreaker rules.
Hudson answered back for BYU, hitting a single with one out to score Stacy Duckworth from second. After Ashlee Brawley got to first after getting hit by a pitch with two outs, Tiffany Messerschmidt hit an infield grounder. The throw to first sailed on the Hawk pitcher, allowing Hudson to come around for the game-winning run.
Hudson again led the Cougars, hitting 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Sophomore Madisen Robb added the Cougars' other RBI off a two-out single in the sixth with the bases loaded that scored Willard.
Hannah Howell picked up the win in four innings of relief after Caroline Umphlett pitched four shutout innings to start.
The Cougars play Long Beach State at 12:30 p.m. MT and Charlotte at 7:30 p.m. MT on Saturday to close out the San Diego Classic.
SUU 7-5, SAN JOSE STATE 2-4: At San Jose, Calif., Southern Utah University softball swept San Jose State in the opening set of three games between the two teams this weekend. The victories push the Thunderbirds over the .500 mark with an overall record of 8-7 and winners of six of their last seven.
SUU made the most of the long ball in the first game with two home runs, including a three-run dinger off the bat of Madison Resley that gave the Thunderbirds an early 3-0 lead after the second inning. San Jose State countered with two runs in the bottom of the second on a sacrifice fly and RBI single to trim the margin to 3-2.
Southern Utah kept the pressure on by scoring at least one run in each of the next three innings, beginning with two runs in the top of the third. A pair of singles by Kelsey Bryant and Terysa Dyer coupled with a walk drawn by Kadi Henderson loaded the bases in the inning with no outs on the board. Poor defense on a Resley ground ball on the next at bat scored Bryant from first and left T-Birds on second and third base. An RBI single by Marqi Gray capped the scoring for Southern Utah in the frame.
Mikkel Griffin accounted for the Thunderbird run in the top of the fourth as the junior tallied her fourth home run of the year. Dyer and Haylee Hoch then swapped bases at second after the duo knocked back-to-back doubles for Southern Utah's run in the top of the fifth.
Despite the blip in the second, SUU starter Heather Black kept Spartan bats at bay during the game with SJSU getting a runner in scoring position only one more time in the game with runners on first and second with two outs in the fifth. The senior earned the victory after throwing a complete game where she allowed two runs (both earned) on eight hits and three walks with five strikeouts.
Black also recorded a save in Game 2 as the Thunderbirds used small-ball philosophy to get the victory.
The teams answered tit-for-tat in the second game as a Thunderbird run in the third was echoed by a Spartan run in the home half of the inning. The same held true in the fifth as an RBI double by Griffin was answered with an SJSU run on a T-Bird error in the bottom of the frame.
The pattern was finally broken in the top of the sixth when Resley recorded an RBI single to right center to give the T-Birds a 3-2 lead. Both of Southern Utah's runs in the fifth and sixth were set up by sacrifice bunts executed by Tessa Loewen and Hoch.
Southern Utah punctuated its scoring on the day with a two-run single by Henderson in the top of the seventh that extended the Thunderbird lead to 5-2. Black then came in at the top of the seventh to close out the game, despite some nail-biting moments in the final half-inning. Some clutch two-out hitting by San Jose pulled the game to within one, 5-4, before a final ground ball ended the game in the Thunderbirds' favor.
Freshman Ashley Ostler earned the victory in the circle for Southern Utah, coming on in relief and throwing 2.0 innings where she allowed one run (not earned) on two hits.
Southern Utah will return to the diamond tomorrow, facing Santa Clara at 10 a.m. and San Jose State in the series finale at 12:15 p.m. The Thunderbirds will wrap up the road trip with a single game against Santa Clara, Sunday morning at 11 a.m.
UTAH 11, UAB 0, SUSP., RAIN: At Birmingham, Ala., Behind a solid performance on the mound from Joe Pond and 13 hits at the plate, the Utah baseball team took an 11-0 lead on UAB before the game was suspended entering the bottom of the ninth due to rain.
The game will be finished on Saturday before Game 2 of the series at 1 p.m. MT. Inclement weather is expected in the Birmingham area. Please check UtahUtes.com for any updates.
The Utes scored runs in six innings. Ethan Leiter was 4-for-4 at the plate with two RBI while Shaun Cooper and Trey Nielsen each had three hits.
Pond pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out four and allowing just three hits and one walk.
"Joe Pond really pitched well in tough conditions today, with hard winds blowing to right field," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "He really did an outstanding job of getting quick innings, keeping his pitch count low, and keeping them off-balance. We also spread our offense out a little. Cooper, Trey and Leiter have struggled to start the season and they all did really well today."
Utah took an early lead with a four-run second inning. Cooper and Nielsen led off the inning with back-to-back hits before a single from Leiter drove in Cooper for the first run of the game. That was followed by a three-run home run by Josh Alexander to give Utah a 4-0 lead.
The Utes continued to pull away from there. Utah scored two runs in the top of the fourth, which included an RBI double from James Brooks, then added another run in the fifth with a solo homer from Cooper to give Utah a 7-0 lead.
Two runs came in the seventh inning, as Cooper scored on an error after a one-out single, and Leiter drove in Nielsen for a run. Nielsen had an RBI single in the eighth to send home Parker Morin, who singled to reach base earlier in the inning.
Mitch Watrous pitched the eighth inning, allowing one hit with a strikeout.
UTAH SWIMMING: At Los Angeles, rising to a new level, more Utah records were rewritten as the Utes are in fifth place through Day 3 of the Pac-12 Championships at East Los Angeles College Swim Stadium.
Karson Applin touched in 47.27 in the 100 fly to pass Mike Green (1998) on the all-time list and take over the Utah record by .20 seconds. Applin came back to finish seventh in the finals with a time of 47.54.
Breaking his personal best in the 100 fly twice today, Andy Lamb is now Utahís third-place all-time. Lamb recorded 48.89 in the preliminaries and 48.47 in the finals to take 14th. Austin Fiascone also set a new personal best in the 100 back preliminaries (50.28). With a 50.31 finals time, he placed 23rd. Following Fiascone was Graham Charlton in 29th (51.22).
Ken Tiltges earned another record swim in the 100 breast with a prelim time of 55.77, placing him fifth all-time. Tied at 55.80 in the finals, Tiltges shared 13th place with ASUís Deniz Hekmati. Corey Williams took home 23rd for the Utes (58.40).
Alexandre Fernandes and Major Robinson swam the second- and third-fastest times in Utah history in the 100 back. Fernandes recorded 48.50 in the prelims and 49.07 in the finals to place him 16th. Robinson touched in 48.99 to take 18th.
The 200 free landed Winter Heaven sixth all-time as he recorded a 1:38.31 preliminary time and a 1:39.53 finals time, placing him 21st. Bjorn Gunnarsson snagged 30th (1:40.03) and Alex Brown recorded a new personal record, taking 32nd (1:40.46). Ryan Hansen took 35th in the same event (1:41.32) and Eric Murray was 41st (1:43.73).
Seniors Eric Murray and Eric Bonicelli finished within milliseconds of each other in the 400 IM as Murray took 21st (4:00.66) and Bonicelli was 22nd (4:00.89). John Tilghman rounded out the Ute lineup in 25th (4:05.71).
The Utes ended the night with yet another shattered school record. Fernandes, Tiltges, Applin and Nick Soedel snagged Utahís fastest time ever in the 400 medley relay (3:14.19) and placed fifth.
Stanford remains in first (623.5) with UC Berkeley in second (544). Arizona is third (382) and USC is right behind in fourth (324). Utah claims fifth (164.5), trailed by Arizona State in sixth (175.5) and UC Santa Barbara in seventh (164.5). Cal Poly sits in eighth (94).
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