BYU softball crushed in NCAA regional game

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Ari Davis
Libby Sugg slides into home in the game against Mississippi State. (Ari Davis)

The No. 21 BYU softball team ended one of the most successful seasons in program history with one of its worst losses.  On Saturday, May 20, the Cougars suffered a 14-0 run-rule loss to No. 16 Utah in the final game of the Salt Lake City regional.

The Cougars finished the season with an overall record of 46-13 and an undefeated 16-0 record at home.

Four Cougars, Caitlyn Alldredge, McKenna Bull, Rylee Jensen and Alexa Strid, were named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team.

BYU coach Gordon Eakin was named WCC Coach of the Year after leading the Cougars to a ninth-consecutive conference championship. This was Eakin’s eighth career coach of the year award.

Jensen shared the WCC Freshman of the Year honors with Pacific’s Hailey Reed and Alldredge was named WCC Player of the Year.

Jensen hit 34 RBIs this season with a batting average of .338. Alldredge also had an exciting year, with 42 RBIs, 10 home runs and a .344 batting average with a slugging percentage of .656.

Bull, a senior, was named the WCC Pitcher of the Year for the third time in a row. Bull had 230 strikeouts and sported a 1.37 earned run average, the lowest in BYU history.

She threw 57.2-consecutive scoreless innings, setting a BYU record. Bull was also named Pitcher of the Week nine times this season.

“She’s undeniably the best that BYU has had,” said BYU pitching coach Pete Meredith.

Bull was a major part of the team’s record-setting 22-game winning streak that began in March.

Senior Lauren Bell was named the 2017 WCC Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Bell had 30 RBIs this season and was also named to the All-WCC Honorable Mention list and the WCC All-Academic Team.

Senior Ashley Thompson was also recognized on the WCC All-Academic Team and was placed on the 2017 All-WCC Second Team. Thompson had 41 RBIs this season, which was third most on the team.

Senior McKenzie St. Claire also leaves BYU this year after making the WCC All-Academic Honorable Mention list. St. Claire had 90 career RBIs as a Cougar and hit .231 this season.

Sophomore Libby Sugg led the team with 52 RBIs and 13 home runs. Along with her all-region honor and being named to the All-WCC Second Team, Sugg was also named WCC Player of the Week while hitting .356 this season.

Lexi Tarrow, another sophomore on the team, shined this year with 30 RBIs hitting at .395 with a slugging percentage of .516. Tarrow was also named All-WCC Honorable Mention and was named WCC Player of the Week back in February.

The Cougars went to the postseason for a 13th-straight season.

“I am proud of the team for being resilient,” Eakin said.