BYU softball

BYU softball one walk away from perfect game vs. UVU

2014-04-08T17:30:00Z 2014-04-09T07:32:50Z BYU softball one walk away from perfect game vs. UVUJason Franchuk - Daily Herald Daily Herald
April 08, 2014 5:30 pm  • 

OREM — The no-hitter, and near perfect game, didn't exactly fire up BYU softball coach Gordon Eakin.

But a 9-0 win, built on a strong start and steady play during all five innings, was exactly what he wanted to see after a road win at UVU on Tuesday.

"It turned out to be exactly what we hoped it to be," said Eakin, whose ultra-young 17-20 team has won six of its last seven games.

The Wolverines' only base runner came on a final (fifth) inning walk, as Ashley Thompson — whom Eakin wanted to use as a third pitcher appearance no matter the circumstances — had a little trouble settling in.

Otherwise, she still faced the minimum three batters to drop UVU to 11-23.

BYU had nine hits and scored five runs in its first at-bat, followed by a couple in the second inning.

Lauren Bell and Gordy Bravo each had a couple of hits, including a double. The Cougars were credited with four RBI as a team, while UVU had five errors.

Tori Almond and McKenna Bull pitched two innings apiece, combining for five strikeouts among the 12 batters they faced during a crisp 60 pitches used.

"Ultimately, we didn't come to play today," first-year UVU coach Nikki Palmer said. "But we're not going to let this define any part of us."

Both teams were trying to find grooves heading into conference play. UVU will face Grand Canyon during the weekend in Western Athletic Conference play (after facing BYU's West Coast Conference foe, Santa Clara, on Thursday).

Palmer was naturally a little stunned to go from 17 hits in the team's last game to getting none against the Cougars.

BYU had to make a few nice plays with the gloves, but otherwise had a pretty relaxing afternoon.

"I think our hitters made their job easier today. Our hitters didn't show their true talent today," Palmer said.

Eakin has seen his team oust national powers like Oregon and Tennessee, but also get handled by considerably lesser competition on several occasions. He calls it growing pains. He reels off all sorts of spots on the diamond where he possesses freshmen.

"Really talented, but really inexperienced," he said.

On a gorgeous day (nearly 70 degrees and sunny) he was hoping for a win that would have the Cougars feeling good about themselves moving forward.

That, he figures, would allow "more of their talent to come out" in conference games starting Friday at home against Santa Clara.

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