After showing signs of resistance early on, UVU softball ultimately caved after cross-town rival BYU ran off 10 runs in three innings.
The Wolverines lost the final decision 12-3, snapping their four-game winning streak and dropping their record to 17-18 heading into last weekend’s series versus Portland State.
UVU started ahead early thanks to spot-on defense and a solo home run by junior Megan Gardner.
Gardner (2-4, 3 RBI) batted in all three runs for UVU.
Poor pitching opened the floodgates for the Cougars in the third inning, who scored six runs off two home runs – a grand slam by Angeline Quiocho and a two-run homer by Jessica Purcell-Fitu.
“Pitching has to get it done,” UVU head coach Todd Fairbourne said. “[BYU] doesn’t just punish big mistakes, they punish little things. Our pitchers are still making big mistakes on their throws.”
Freshman Heather Bacon (five strikeouts and five runs allowed in three innings) relieved starter Kyli Flanary (five runs allowed in two innings), but was unable to stop the bleeding. BYU scored thrice more in the fourth and tacked on another run in the fifth, leaving the Wolverines with a 10-1 deficit and a possible mercy-rule ending entering the bottom of the fifth.
“Flanary – she has the stuff,” Fairbourne said. “She just needs to harness it. I thought Heather actually threw very well, as funny as that sounds. Against the caliber of hitters they are, Heather threw very well.”
Facing an early exit, UVU showed some fire on an otherwise blustery cold evening, getting seven of their eight hits in the fifth and sixth innings while scoring two runs on BYU reliever Paige Affleck .
“Paige has been their number one this year,” Fairbourne said. “To come in and string four hits in a row off her, it’s something we’ll build on.”