BYU softball wins in comeback fashion to keep season alive

Down to their last four outs and trailing 7-6, WCC Player of the Year Violet Zavodnik drove in the go-ahead two-RBI singles and Huntyr Ava hit a RBI single to give the Cougars a 9-7 lead.

Arissa Paulson retired the last three batters consecutively to keep BYU’s NCAA tournament hopes alive by beating No. 15 Arizona State 9-8 in the Tempe Region of the NCAA tournament.

BYU will face Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon, who they lost by 5-2 to on Thursday, for a ticket to the Super Regional. The Cougs will have to beat the Hokies twice if they want to reach the Super Regionals.

The Cougars earned the right to play the Sun Devils after beating Southern Illinois 7-2 earlier Friday evening.

BYU comes back against Arizona State

The Cougars grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first off of clutch two-out hitting as Huntyr Ava hit a RBI double and Martha Epenesa hit a RBI single.

Arizona State cut the deficit in half with a RBI ground out in the follow inning.

Rylee Jensen responded with a two-run homerun to extend BYU’s lead to 4-1.

The Sun Devils scored two runs off a RBI double in the top of the third, forcing WCC Pitcher of the Year Autumn Moffat-Korth out of the game after she threw her 175 pitch of the day. Arissa Paulson came in to replace Moffat-Korth and got out of the inning.

BYU cushioned their lead to 5-3 off of a double steal, where Ava scored from third.

Zavodnik robbed the Sun Devils of multiple runs by making an over-the-shoulder catch in center field with runners on the corners in the top of the fourth.

The Sun Devils grabbed their first lead of the game at 6-5 in the top of the fifth off of a passed ball that scored two runs.

Arizona State seemingly took all the momentum in the next inning as Jazmine Hill hit a solo home run.

Then BYU clutched up in the bottom of the sixth. Zavodnik hit a two-RBI single to give BYU a 8-7 lead. Ava followed up with a RBI single to push BYU’s lead to 9-7.

The extra run proved to be crucial as the Sun Devils homered in the top of the seventh. Paulson then ended the game by retiring the next three batters, keeping BYU’s season alive.

BYU continues their NCAA tournament against familiar foes Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon at 4:30 MST. The Cougars need to win two games against Virginia Tech in hopes to reach the Super Regionals.

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