BYU women’s softball goes 3-2 in Kajikawa Classic

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The BYU women’s softball team went 3-2 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona, led by two stellar performances by junior pitcher McKenna Bull.

Bull threw a no hitter in the Cougars’ first game against San Jose State on Feb. 11, then followed that game up with a career-high 14 strikeouts in a win over Wisconsin on Feb. 12.

On Thursday, the Cougars defeated San Jose State 8-0 and lost to Tennessee 15-3. Bull’s no-hitter against SJSU was her first solo no hitter and the program’s first since 2014.

McKenna Bull winds up to bring a pitch home. Photo by Ari Davis
McKenna Bull winds up to bring a pitch home at a game last season. Bull pitched a no-hitter this weekend against San Jose State. (Ari Davis)

Libby Sugg rallied the offense against the Spartans. She had seven RBI on three hits. Lauren Bell managed five hits in seven at-bats.

Gordy Bravo, McKenzie St. Clair, Emilee Erickson, Ashley Thompson, Alexa Strid and Lexi Tarrow all scored runs. Due to the mercy rule, the game ended after six innings.

Sloppy play doomed the Cougars against Tennessee. BYU committed four errors in the loss.

BYU head coach Gordon Eakin says the team “played good softball,” but let the game get away from them.

“They are a very good team and we learned from that experience,” Eakin said. “We feel like we can clean up and be where we need to be.”

Behind Bull’s career-high 14 strikeouts, the Cougars pulled out a 5-4 extra-inning victory over Wisconsin.

Eakin said the whole team showed a lot of “character” but attributed the win to Bull’s pitching.

“McKenna threw very well to keep us in the game and give us a chance to come back and grind out the win,” Eakin said. “We executed very well in the extra innings, which is ultimately what gave us the win.”

A doubleheader on Feb. 13 resulted a victory against Creighton University (4-0) and a loss to Notre Dame (4-2) in extra innings.

Libby Sugg continued to shine, hitting her second home run of the weekend against Creighton. Freshman Olivia Sanchez pitched well, with four strikeouts and just one hit without allowing a run. Freshman Tarrow was the leading hitter, with two RBI and one run scored.

“Our freshmen really stepped up today,” Eakin said. “Lexi Tarrow was responsible for three of our four runs in the win. McKenna Bull had a great game against a tough team.”

In the Cougars’ last game of the tournament, they were out hit by the Fighting Irish nine to five. After a closely contested game, Notre Dame’s victory came from a walk-off two-run homer.

The softball team will hit the road again, heading to Las Vegas for the DeMarni Classic from Feb 18th– 20th.

 

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