May 7, 2016
PROVO — Senior third baseman Coco Tauali’i Bond drove in three runs and hit two doubles on Senior Day, as BYU softball run-ruled Santa Clara 9-1 Saturday afternoon at Miller Park.
The leadoff batter, senior centerfielder Gordy Bravo, was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.
“It was a great weekend to have our fans get a chance to focus on our seniors,” BYU coach Gordon Eakin said. “Coco and Gordy are tremendous players and even better young women. We’re so grateful to have had them in our program.”
The Cougars (33-18, 10-2 WCC) completed their third conference sweep of the season and recorded their 11th win in the past 12 games, taking care of business against the visiting Broncos (8-40, 3-9).
Right fielder Madison Merrell was 1-for-2 day with two runs scored and two RBI. First baseman Ashley Thompson continued her hitting tear, notching a triple and a single with three runs scored.
From the circle, McKenna Bull (24-11) allowed two hits and one run while striking out seven.
Bull retired the first nine batters of the game, including three strikeouts.
BYU jumped out 1-0 in the first when Thompson tripled an came home on a double steal. Bond doubled in Merrell with two outs in the second and Emilee Erickson had an RBI single in the third. The Cougars got two more runs on Santa Clara errors in the fourth for a 5-0 lead.
Two-run doubles from Merrell and Bond gave BYU the 9-0 lead in the fourth. SCU had one run in the top of the fifth, a solo home run, before the game ended 9-1.
WOMEN’S GOLF: At Baton Rouge, La., backed by a 3-under tournament performance from Lea Garner, the BYU women’s golf team placed in the top six at the 2016 Division I NCAA Women’s Regional, good enough to advance to the NCAA Championships on May 20-25 in Eugene, Oregon.
“This finish means so much to these girls,” BYU coach Carrie Roberts said. “It makes every ounce of hard work worth it; it makes everything worth it. Our strong finish put us through. Although Lea (Garner) carried us, it was a definite team effort. We are a tough team and fought to the end.”
The Cougars needed that top-six finish in the 18-team field to qualify for the NCAA Championships. BYU shot 20-over-par for the tournament, edging Houston (21-over) for that sixth spot. BYU floated between sixth and seventh place throughout the final round, but the Cougars’ 296 proved to be enough. BYU totaled 884 over 54 holes, with 27 birdies overall in the tournament.
Garner shot a 1-under 71 on Saturday for a 3-under 213 for the tournament, tying for fourth place. Garner’s birdie on 18, along with Kendra Dalton’s, sealed the sixth spot for BYU.
“Finishing with two birdies on the last hole put us through,” Roberts said.
Other BYU scores were Brooklyn Hocker (79) 227, Alexandra White (77) 227, Rose Huang (74) 227 and Dalton 74 (232).
South Carolina and Florida tied for the top spot in the tournament at 7-under. South Carolina’s Katelyn Dambaugh took home medalist honors, shooting 9-under.
BASEBALL: At Malibu, Calif., a ninth-inning rally fell short and BYU fell 4-3 to Pepperdine.
Starter Riley Gates had a no-hitter and a 1-0 lead going into the sixth inning. A grand slam by the Waves’ Brad Anderson in that fram gave Pepperdine (22-20, 12-9) control until the Cougars nearly came back in the ninth.
“We gave everything we had today,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “Riley and Mason (Marshall) did a great job on the mound, but Pepperdine was better today.”
The Cougars started their ninth-inning rally with two out. Keaton Kringlen was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on Daniel Schneemann’s double. Bronson Larsen then singled in a run and Schneemann scored on a Brennon Anderson single. But with two on, Brennon Lund grounded out to end the game.
The Cougars (31-13, 13-8 WCC) dropped from first place in the league, but still control their own destiny as they hope to qualify for the four-team WCC tourney.
Tanner Chauncey and Eric Urry extended their hitting streaks to 10 and eight games, respectively. Colton Shaver’s sacrifice fly in the first gave BYU a 1-0 lead.