BYU softball goes 3-2 at UCLA-Long Beach State Invitational

Libby Sugg rounds the bases after hitting a home run against No. 2 ranked UCLA. (BYU Photo)

The BYU softball team won three of its five games at the University of California, Los Angeles-Long Beach State Invitational March 7-9.

The Cougars won their first three games, defeating Robert Morris University and Long Beach State University on March 7 and Ohio University on March 8.

The team lost their fourth and fifth matchups against Boston University on March 8 and No. 2 UCLA on March 9.

The weekend’s first victory was against Robert Morris University with a final score of 1-0. Outfielder Rylee Jensen scored the one and only run of the game. Jensen completed a total of seven runs during the invitational, nearly a third of all Cougar runs over the weekend.

The Cougars followed their first win with a second victory that same day, beating Long Beach State 11-6. Jensen scored an impressive three runs, with teammates Martha Epenesa and Marissa Chavez, who scored two runs each, following closely behind. Olivia Sanchez and Allie Hancock stayed busy defensively with 13 outs between the two of them.

After his team’s first two victories, BYU head coach Gordon Eakin commented on his team’s efforts to find its groove.

Arissa Paulson pitched a great game in the first win and Rylee Jensen had a monster day at the plate,” Eakin said. “We are still not firing on all cylinders but we got two good team wins on the road. It was a good day.”

BYU’s third victory came in a close matchup against Ohio. The Cougars defeated the Bobcats 3-2 in a come-from-behind victory that saw the Cougars overcome Ohio’s initial 2-0 lead. BYU scored three runs in a row to clinch the Cougars’ final victory of the weekend.

The second game of the day saw Boston University edge out BYU in a close game that ended 7-6. The Terriers established an impressive initial lead of 7-0 before the Cougars clawed their way back into the game. BYU put up a valiant effort scoring six runs, but were ultimately unable to overcome the Terriers’ lead.

“We played two hard-fought games today,” Eakin said following Friday’s games. “We made a nice comeback in game one but falling behind by seven runs in game two proved to be too much. We almost overcame the seven run deficit but fell inches short.”

In the final game of the weekend, the Cougars were matched up against No. 2 UCLA. The Cougars lost 8-2, but not without making things interesting. BYU scored the first run of the game and even tied the Bruins up at 2-2 when Libby Sugg hit her second home run of the season. The Cougars were ultimately unable to keep up with the top-ranked team deep into the game.

“We played a very good game for six innings,” Eakin said. “We let the game get away from us in the sixth inning.”

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