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BYU roundup: Cougar softball gets two home runs from Mallory Barber on Senior Day

By Staff | May 6, 2023

Donovan Kelly, BYU Photo

BYU senior Mallory Barber (a former star at Spanish Fork) celebrates after hitting a home run during the WCC game against Pacific at Gail Miller Field in Provo on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

Mallory Barber, Martha Epenesa and Alyssa Podhurcak-Foss each celebrated their senior day with runs scored in BYU softball’s 8-0 run-rule win over Pacific at Gail Miller Field on Saturday afternoon.

The seniors formed a three-pronged attack for the Cougars (31-14, 10-2 WCC) that put the game away in the bottom of the fifth. Epenesa took to the plate and quickly homered over the left field fence to put BYU up 6-0. Podhurcak-Foss stepped up next and doubled to left field, coming home moments later as Barber brought her home with a second home run of the day.

Barber’s two home runs on Saturday became the first and second of her career. The senior from Spanish Fork recorded her first-career homer in the bottom of the fourth, sending the ball over the left fence and putting the Cougars up 3-0.

After two scoreless innings to open the game, BYU broke it open in the bottom of the third as Maddie Bejarano came out swinging with two outs. Bejarano sent one over the right wall to give the Cougars their first run of the day. Huntyr Ava then walked and advanced to second after a Hailey Morrow single to left field.

BYU quickly scored again as Ava came sliding home on a Violet Zavodnik RBI that sent Morrow to second. Despite three runners left on base, the Cougars led 2-0 heading into the fourth.

Donovan Kelly, BYU Photo

BYU senior Mallory Barber (a former star at Spanish Fork) hits the ball during the WCC game against Pacific at Gail Miller Field in Provo on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

Chloe Temples kept up her stingy pitching in the top of the fourth as she struck out her fifth-consecutive Pacific batter and helped the Cougars keep the Tigers off the board yet again.

The bottom of the fourth proved to be another fruitful frame for the BYU batters with Barber starting the action on her opening homer of the day. Bejarano and Ava walked consecutively and came home on a Morrow double to left field. While two BYU runners were left on base, the Cougars had built their lead to a commanding 5-0 after four.

With Saturday’s win, the Cougars completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers. BYU has won nine of its last 11 games, with its two losses coming to top-5 ranked UCLA and Stanford. The 8-0 win over Pacific marks the Cougars’ seventh shutout of the season and second on back-to-back Saturdays.

BYU baseball loses series rubber match at San Diego

San Diego defeated BYU, 5-1, in game three of its West Coast Conference weekend series at Fowler Park on Saturday, giving the Toreros a 2-1 series win.

The Toreros improved to 22-22-1 (15-9) on the year, while the Cougars fell to 19-26 (9-12 WCC).

Donovan Kelly, BYU Photo

BYU players wait at home to celebrate with Maddie Bejarano after she hit a home run in the WCC game against Pacific at Gail Miller Field in Provo on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

After three and a half innings of scoreless baseball, San Diego scored first in the top of the fourth on a single and a double for a 1-0 lead.

BYU answered with a run of its own in the top of the fifth on a triple by Ryan Sepede and an RBI ground ball by Cooper Vest to tie the game at 1-1.

A leadoff walk, followed by a double and a triple in the bottom of the sixth led to a three-run inning for the Toreros and a 4-1 lead.

The Cougars had chances in the top of the seventh and eighth innings but stranded two runners in the seventh and left the bases loaded in the eighth.

“Their starter Austin Smith was very good today,” said BYU head coach Trent Pratt. “He had command of all three pitches and was tough to hit. Tip your hat to him because he made it hard on our hitters. I thought we battled hard but just couldn’t come up with a big hit when we needed it.”

Courtesy BYU Photo

BYU players wait at home to celebrate with Maddie Bejarano after she hit a home run in the WCC game against Pacific at Gail Miller Field in Provo on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

USD tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning with a run on three walks and a wild pitch for a final score of 5-1.

BYU starter Ben Hansen (0-3) took the loss, while USD starter Smith (4-1) went 6.2 innings for the win.

The Cougars return to Utah for an in-state game with the Utes on Tuesday, May 9, at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. MDT. BYU will then return to West Coast Conference play with a three-game series, May 11-13, versus Pacific in Stockton, California.

All four games will be broadcast live on the BYU Radio App and BYU Radio 107.9 FM in the northern Utah market, with Jason Shepherd on play-by-play.

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