Dramatic Finish Goes the Way of the Cougars in Softball Rivalry Battle
PROVO, Utah – Ellessa Bonstrom delivered a grand slam home run to give visiting Utah a 6-5 lead in the top of the seventh Wednesday evening at BYU, but the Cougars answered with a pair of home runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk off a 7-6 rivalry win at Gail Miller Field.
Bonstrom's blast—her team-leading 12th of the season—breathed life into a Utah team that had stranded six runners on base through six innings and trailed 5-2, thanks to a ragged second inning in which BYU scored all five of its runs, three of which were unearned. The Utes loaded the bases in the sixth inning but could not produce a run, and were down to their final three outs when Bonstrom stepped to the plate with the based loaded again and belted a shot over the center field wall.
As quickly as the visiting Utes had stolen the momentum, the Cougars snatched it right back with back-to-back solo shots for the win.
Sydney Sandez (8-5) takes the loss for the Utes, who fall to 17-19 on the season. BYU is now 24-13. Mariah Lopez relieved starter Halle Morris after BYU's five-run second inning and allowed just two hits over her 3.1 innings of work before Sandez entered the game with two on in the sixth and promptly struck out the first two batters she faced to end the Cougars' threat and keep Utah within striking distance, before the dramatic seventh inning.
Four Utah players had multi-hit games, with Ellessa Bonstrom, Alyssa Barrera, Jordyn Gasper each going 2-4 and Destiny Quiles going 2-3.
Head Coach Amy Hogue
"The mistakes in the front of the game really hurt us. I was so proud of this group to stay composed and find a way to get the bats going and get to their second pitcher. We competed, but we didn't do enough good things to walk away with the win. It was disappointing. It did show our guts, though. I'm excited to head to Arizona with a team that seems to be moving upward with their grit."
- Ellessa Bonstrom's grand slam was her team-leading 12th of the season, and marked her third game in a row with a home run, and her fourth in the last five games.
- Bonstrom's four RBI put her back in the team lead with 31 for the season, just ahead of Alyssa Barrera (30).
- Destiny Quiles hit her first career home run in the fifth inning to put Utah on the board and trim BYU's lead to 5-2.
- Alyssa Barrera hit two doubles to raise her team-leading total to 7 for the season.
- With 10 hits tonight, Utah registered its 10th game this season with double-figure hits
Utah travels to Tucson for a four-game Pac-12 series against No. 10/11 Arizona, Friday-Sunday.