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BYU roundup: Cougar softball gets two grand slams to upset Oklahoma State

By BYU sports information - | Mar 23, 2024

Courtesy BYU Photo

BYU softball players celebrate after a home run during the game against Oklahoma State at Gail Miller Field in Provo on Friday, March 22, 2024.

Although No. 4/6-ranked Oklahoma State softball won the three-game series, BYU got the bats going to pick up their biggest win of the season on Friday.

BYU softball defeated No. 4/6 Oklahoma State, 11-8 at Gail Miller Field in Provo in the program’s first victory over a top-10 opponent since 2014.

The Cougars (17-11, 2-6 Big 12) were propelled by two grand slams, scoring 11 runs on 12 hits in the upset victory over the Cowgirls.

In a game that featured seven total home runs between the two teams, BYU snapped its five-game losing streak thanks to slams by Hailey Morrow and Huntyr Ava, and a solo shot from Ailana Agbayani.

Back-to-back walks and a base hit by Lily Owens set the stage for a grand slam to right center field by Ava, giving the Cougars an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. The grand slam was BYU’s fifth of the season and the third of Ava’s collegiate career.

Oklahoma State answered in the top of the second inning, scoring one run on one hit to cut its deficit to 4-1.

A two-out single up the middle by Agbayani and a double down the left field line by Maddie Bejarano increased BYU’s lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the second inning.

The Cowgirls came back in the top of the third, scoring one run on a home run and two hits to reduce their deficit to 5-2.

Ava reached first base after being hit by a pitch, followed by a base hit from Maddie Udall. Keila Kamoku also reached after being hit by a pitch, loading the bases with no outs. Morrow, then hit a grand slam to left field, marking BYU’s sixth of the season and the second of her career, extending the Cougars’ lead to 9-2. A later solo home run by Agbayani increased BYU’s advantage to 10-2 in the bottom of the third inning.

Oklahoma State narrowed the gap to 10-5, scoring three runs on three hits in the top of the fourth. The Cowgirls continued to cut into the lead in the top of the fifth inning, again scoring two runs on two hits to make the score 10-7.

A couple of runners reached for BYU, highlighted by another hit from Owens, and a later RBI single to right field by Ava boosted the Cougars’ lead to 11-7 going into the top of the sixth.

Despite Oklahoma State scoring one run in the top of the seventh inning, Kate Dahle closed out the game for BYU, securing the 11-8 victory.

The Cowboys rallied to beat the Cougars on Saturday, 10-2, to take the series, 2-1.

BYU will head down to St. George to face Utah Tech in a single game matchup at Karl Brooks Field on Tuesday Mar. 26 at 4 p.m. MDT. The broadcast of the game will be available on ESPN+.

BYU gymnastics scores a season-high at Big 12 championship

The BYU women’s gymnastics team took home a third-place finish with a final score of 197.050 in its first-ever Big 12 Championship in Norman, Okla.

No. 1 Oklahoma took home the conference title with a score of 198.950, which broke the NCAA women’s gymnastics all-time scoring record. No. 8 Denver took second with a 197.975. Iowa State and West Virginia rounded out the competition with scores of 196.350 and 195.125.

The Cougars had five scores above a 9.900 in tonight’s conference championship. Anna Bramblett’s 9.950 on the uneven bars was BYU’s highest individual score and tied for third-highest score of the meet.

Finishing their inaugural Big 12 season ranked No. 33 nationally, the Cougars now await their regional placement, which will be announced during the 2024 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Selection Show.

The selection show will air Monday, March 25th at 10 a.m. MT on NCAA.com. A link to the show will be on the front page of NCAA.com.

Cougar men’s volleyball beats Pepperdine in five sets twice

The No. 7 BYU men’s volleyball team defeated No. 8 Pepperdine in five sets two nights in a row, winning the match 3-2 (23-25, 25-17, 21-25 25-19, 15-7) on Saturday evening in the Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.

BYU’s Luke Benson led all players with a career high of 26 kills on a .512 hitting percentage. Senior Gavin Julien led the BYU defense with a career high of 11 total blocks, featuring two solo blocks. Sophomore libero Jackson Fife also achieved a career high with 12 digs, while setter Tyler Herget tied his career high of 52 assists. Senior Kupono Browne led BYU in digs with 13, achieving a new career high.

BYU finished with season highs in three seperate team categories: 67 kills, 53 digs and 17 blocks. The Cougars also held the Waves to a .182 hitting percentage. BYU is one of three teams to hold the Waves under a .200 clip this year, sitting alongside No. 1 Long Beach State and No. 3 UCLA.

The Cougars split the first four sets with Pepperdine, setting up the deciding fifth set.

Benson’s 23rd kill of the night gave BYU an early 3-1 lead. Back-to-back kills by Benson then gave the Cougars a 5-2 lead. Stanley gave BYU its third ace of the night to take an 8-5 advantage.

After switching sides, BYU earned the next point off a kill by Ramanis, forcing a Pepperdine timeout. The Cougars dominated through the rest of the set, ending the night on a 5-0 run courtesy of three more kills by Ramanis to win 15-7, securing a 3-2 victory.

Next week the Cougars will return to Provo to host CUI for a pair of matches on March 29 and 30, beginning with Friday’s game at 7 p.m. MDT in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Following Saturday’s match, BYU will honor its three seniors: Kupono Browne, Gavin Julien and Jon Stanley. Both games will be streaming on BYUtv and byutv.org.

BYU baseball falls to Texas Tech

BYU baseball dropped the final game of a three-game conference series with Texas Tech, 10-1, on Saturday at Rip Griffin Park in Lubbock.

The Red Raiders scored 10 runs on 15 hits to win the series 2-1, while the Cougars scored one run on two hits.

“It was a tough day all around,” said BYU head coach Trent Pratt. “Credit Texas Tech, they played sound baseball in all phases. This loss hurts because we had a chance to win the series, but we need to flush it and get ready to play next week. We have some things to work on, but we’ll head home and get back to work.”

BYU returns to Provo for a four-game home stand beginning with Utah Valley on Monday, March 25 at 6 p.m. MDT at Miller Park.

The Cougars then return to Big 12 play with a three-game series versus Kansas, March 28-30. The Thursday-Friday games are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. MT, with the Saturday game slated for 1 p.m.

All four games will be broadcast live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and can also be heard on the BYU Radio App and 107.9 FM in Utah County.


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