NCAA Softball: BYU, Utah win big in SLC regional openers

Thursday , May 18, 2017 - 8:35 PM

BRETT HEIN, Standard-Examiner Staff

In the first NCAA Regionals ever hosted in Salt Lake City, both BYU softball and host University of Utah claimed big wins Thursday, advancing to play each other at 1 p.m. Friday in day two of the double-elimination bracket.

BYU 8, MISSISSIPPI STATE 0

In the day’s first game, No. 21 BYU used a dominant pitching performance and creative offense to blast Mississippi State.

Weber High product McKenna Bull, BYU’s all-time strikeout leader, only struck out one Bulldog hitter — but she only gave up one hit, too, as she and the Cougars’ defense kept Mississippi State quiet.

A solo home run from Alexa Strid opened the scoring in the second inning.

BYU continued in the third by having clean-up hitter Libby Sugg bunt for a single. Later, with the bases loaded, Caitlyn Alldredge took an intentionally large lead off second and MSU’s play on her allowed pinch-runner Madison Merrell to steal home.

Briielle Breland singled to score Alldredge to give BYU a 5-0 lead, chasing Alexis Silkwood — Mississippi State’s all-time leader in nearly every pitching category — from the game in 2 1/3 innings.

Lexi Tarrow finished 3 for 4 with a double and a triple. The win was Bull’s 30th this season.

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UTAH 10, FORDHAM 0

No. 16 Utah continued the Beehive State dominance, blowing out Fordham in the nightcap thanks to third baseman Heather Bowen.

In the first inning, Bowen singled to score two-time Pac-12 Player of the Year Hannah Flippen to cap a three-run inning.

In the second, she blasted a two-run homer to cap a five-run inning and put the Utes up 8-0.

Katie Donovan gave up one hit in three scoreless innings as the starter for Utah. Flippen hit 3 for 3 with two RBIs.

Fordham committed four errors.

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