BYU came out victorious after a close game against Utah State, the last game of the regular season for the Cougars.
The start of the game was fairly slow, with Utah State playing strong defense throughout. The first and second innings yielded nothing more than a snowstorm and a fly ball to the camera man. Despite all bases being loaded, both teams walked away empty handed.
“It was really cold,” said head coach Gordon Eakin. “Sometimes it’s hard to play quality ball for either team in that kind of weather, but we fought and came back and won, so I’m proud of them there.”
The first score didn’t come until halfway through the third inning as BYU’s freshman McKenzie St. Clair made the first run with bases loaded, finishing the third inning in the lead 1-0.
The Cougars’ lead didn’t last long. A home run from Utah State’s Hailey Froton sent two Aggies over the home plate, placing Utah State in the lead. Their lead continued into the fifth inning after a triple from Sarah Chow landed her on third and a score on a wild pitch took her all the way home, increasing the lead to 3-1.
A powerful hit from BYU’s senior Carly Duckworth into center field sent sophomore Coco Tauali’i to second and senior Katie Manuma across the home plate, shrinking the Aggies’ lead to one point.
Another point for the Cougars came from freshman Sydney Broderick with a solo home run, her third of the season, tying the game 3-3 at the end of the sixth inning.
Freshman McKenna Bull was put in to pitch for senior Tori Almond in the beginning of the seventh inning. Utah State’s Allison Lenzora scored after a throwing error by the pitcher, putting the Aggies in the lead. Yet again the lead was short-lived. Another home run from Manuma brought the game back to a tie, ending the game 4-4 and headed into an extra inning.
“It feels good to start hitting again,” Manuma said. “It’s nice to finally find my swing and start doing my job.”
For the eighth inning Froton was placed on second for Utah State and was only able to advance to third before the teams switched. Bell was then put on second for BYU, and a bunt single from Broderick sent Bell to home base, ending the game with a win for the Cougars 5-4.
Next week the Cougars head to San Diego for the opening game of the West Coast Conference. The game will be held at 5 p.m. (PDT).