Softball loses 16-inning heartbreaker, wins 1 of 4

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    By Kurt Jensen

    The BYU softball team can look forward to Thursday”s game against Utah State University with a more positive outlook after beating out the Lobos 6-0 in Saturday”s second game.

    With a five game losing streak in conference ended, the Cougars are happy to stay close to home for the remainder of the month.

    “We are tired physically and emotionally,” head coach Mary Kay Amicone said. “Being home will pay off because we”ll be able to rest up.”

    The break is earned after four close games over the weekend.

    The Cougars played the longest game in BYU softball history Friday night, only to come up one run short.

    Before the games, junior outfielder Brooke Cadiente said the team had a goal of never losing a home game this season. The team was 4-0 at home at that point.

    The Cougars managed only one hit in Friday”s 6-0 loss. Colorado State pitcher Melanie Mahoney had a no-hitter going into the last inning. With one out in the seventh Cadiente got the only hit of the game for the Cougars.

    The Rams jumped out to a 3-1 lead early in Friday”s second game, and the Cougars made it 3-2 heading into the sixth inning.

    CSU made a pitching change, putting in Mahoney, the pitcher from the first game, in relief.

    This time the Cougars figured her out, at least for that inning, as they scored two runs to take the lead 4-3 heading into the seventh.

    BYU couldn”t close out the game, however, and Colorado State scored one run to tie the game. After a scoreless bottom of the seventh, the game headed into extra innings.

    After five more scoreless innings, Colorado State broke the tie in the top of the 13th inning, scoring one run. BYU was able to escape more damage, getting the last two outs of the inning while the bases were loaded.

    The Cougars came to bat in their half of the inning and loaded the bases with two outs on an intentional walk of Oli Keohohou. Cadiente hit a grounder to short that was misplayed and the tying run scored.

    Two more scoreless innings went by and the teams headed into the 16th inning, having already played more than double the amount of innings of a regular game.

    CSU broke the tie with a run in the inning, but left two runners on, giving BYU another opportunity to tie or win.

    The Cougars were able to put a runner on third with two outs in the inning. This time they were unable to score and the game finally ended in the 16th, four hours and 25 minutes after it began. The final score was 6-5, with the teams combining for 117 at bats and 27 hits.

    “I thought we gave a really good effort and continued to fight, I”m proud of that,” Amicone said. “We just need to find a way to win the close games.”

    Freshman Niki Anderson pitched the entire 16 innings for the Cougars. She had 11 strikeouts in the game, which was also a career high.

    “It was a tough spot to put her in and she did well,” Amicone said.

    For Colorado State, Mahoney pitched the rest of the game after entering in the sixth. She pitched 11 innings and in the two games combined pitched 18 innings and got the win in both games.

    “She”s a real fighter,” said CSU head coach Mary Yori.

    Amicone also complimented the pitching of Mahoney.

    “She did a really good job, she kept us off balance,” she said.

    Saturday afternoon wearied the players again with a 7-6 loss against the New Mexico Lobos.

    During game one, New Mexico fired off two homeruns and three other runs in the first two innings to take the lead 5-0.

    The Cougars quickly turned it around to tie the game 5-5 by the end of the fifth.

    A win slipped from their gloves, however, during the seventh inning. Down by one run with the Lobos leading 7-6, All-American Oli Keohohou hit a fly-out with bases loaded.

    “I”ll put her in that situation every time,” Amicone said. “They threw to her well, but I believe in her 100 percent.”

    Whatever the disappointments of Saturday”s first game, the Cougars came together and pulled it off for the second game, winning 6-0 to improve their standings to 24-16 on the year.

    The game was scoreless until the fifth when the team brought home six runs with two outs.

    First baseman Elizabeth Boydston nailed her second home run of the day to add to the rally.

    While Boydston is “happy for now” with her performance during the game, she is proud of the team”s efforts.

    “We just came back with our bats,” Boydston said, “Defense was great today, but mostly our hitting came through.”

    Amicone, who is also pleased with her team, thanked luck as well for the turnaround.

    “It”s a game of momentum, and a game of momentum switches,” Amicone said. “We got a break.”

    Similar breaks are welcome by the team in the next few weeks as they take on competitors within Utah. This one win, Amicone said, will help motivate the team in those efforts.

    “We just need to keep regrouping and know how good we are and trust that,” Amicone said.

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