The BYU softball team won the West Coast Conference for the third year in a row after a 12 inning victory on Friday night. The Cougars split the next two games with San Diego, winning the series 2-1.
The Cougars and Toreros were in a defensive struggle on Friday night.
“That was an incredibly well-played game by both teams in terms of pitching and defense,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “Their pitcher did an excellent job against our hitters, but we hung in there and toughed it out. I’m really proud of our kids, and we will really cherish another conference championship.”
The Cougars and the Toreros kept each other from scoring until the 12th inning when Gordy Bravo ended the streak with an RBI single. Although San Diego got runners on second and third in the bottom of the 12th, they were unable to score.
BYU won the WCC with the win.
The 12-inning game was the second-longest game in BYU history. In 2002 the Cougars played a 16-inning game against Colorado State.
McKenna Bull pitched all 12 innings and recorded shutout No. 21 for her career. She now owns the career shutout record.
“McKenna threw her heart out” Eakin said.
Bull struck out 10 and walked only three batters, improving her record to 26-11.
BYU lost the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday 5-2.
Ashley Thompson drove in both of the Cougars’ runs and Olivia Sanchez pitched a complete game.
The Cougars and the Toreros kept the game scoreless until the bottom of the third when San Diego scored four runs off of five hits.
BYU was unable to get on the board until the top of the 5th when Thompson hit a double in left center to bring in two runs. The Cougars were still trailing by two.
In the bottom of the sixth, San Diego increased their lead with one additional run. BYU was unable to come back from their deficit in the 7th inning and San Diego took the game 5-2.
The Cougars came back fighting for the last game of the series with a 9-3 win.
Sophomore pitcher Arianna Paulson started her first game of the season with a career- high of seven strikeouts and seven innings pitched.
Freshman Allie Hancock started her second game this year and recorded her first career hit and an RBI.
Although the Toreros scored three runs in the bottom of the 2nd, BYU responded in the 3rd inning with three runs from Coco Tauali’i Bond, Hancock, and Lauren Bell to tie the game.
The Cougars continued to keep the Toreros from scoring while they added more runs, leading 9-3 after five innings.
San Diego was unable to score again and BYU took the series with the final game victory of 9-3.
BYU will represent the WCC in the NCAA tournament next week. The 2016 NCAA Division I Softball Championship bracket will be announced Sunday, May 15, 2016 on ESPNU at 8 p.m. MDT.