BYU-San Diego softball 2021

BYU's Rylee Jensen (2) slides in safely at second base during a women's college softball game against San Diego at Gail Miller Field in Provo on Saturday, April 24, 2021.

BYU softball completed the series sweep of San Diego at Gail Miller Field after defeating the Toreros 3-0 on Saturday. The Cougars have won 15 consecutive games and haven’t lost since March 26.

“Today was a game we had to grind out,” said BYU head coach Gordon Eakin. “Three-game series’ are hard to sweep and the sign of a champion is when you can grind them out and come away with a sweep.”

On Friday, the Cougars won both ends of a double header with San Diego, taking Game 1 by a score of 3-1 and Game 2 by a score of 11-3.

The Cougars will travel up the road to face Utah Valley in the UCCU Crosstown Clash at Wolverine Field on Tuesday, April 27, at 5 p.m. MDT.

Cougars conclude Robison Invite with historical performances

All-Americans Casey Clinger and Lucas Bons both ran sub-four minute miles at altitude and the women’s 4x400m relay team broke the school record as BYU track and field wrapped up competition at the 2021 Robison Invitational on Saturday.

Clinger and Bons completed the race in 3:59.02 and 3:59.28, respectively. The duo joins BYU track and field legend Doug Padilla as the only three runners to run sub-four minute mile times at Provo’s altitude of 4,579 feet. As the founder of RunnerCard timing services and the meet director for the Robison Invitational, the two-time Olympian was in attendance to witness the two current Cougars accomplish the feat. Until today, Padilla had been the only runner to run a sub-four minute mile at such altitude, doing it himself 38 years ago.

The women’s 4x400m relay team, consisting of Meghan Hunter, All-American Alena Ellsworth, All-American Claire Seymour and All-American Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes, clocked a 3:36.33 to set a new BYU record in the event. The previous record of 3:36.56 had been set in 2009 by Natalie Stewart, Nachelle Stewart, Lacey Cramer and Katie Palmer. Both Ellsworth and Hunter also ran top-10 times in the women’s 400m on Friday.

After breaking her own school record in the women’s 100m trials yesterday, Jaslyn Gardner clocked the second-fastest 200m time in school history. Gardner won the event with a time of 23.47, tying Angela Bridgeman (1987) for the No. 2 spot on the BYU Top 10 board. The junior also won the 100m final with a time of 11.35.

Sierra Freeland moved up the program’s all-time list in the women’s shot put for the second weekend in a row. After moving up to No. 4 on the BYU Top 10 board last week, Freeland jumped to No. 2 on the all-time list with a toss of 15.89m/52-1.5.

Talem Franco was the lone BYU athlete to compete elsewhere this weekend, racing in a 1500m invitational at the Oregon Relays. The All-American crossed the finish line in 3:39.19, marking a new personal record and the fourth-fastest 1500m in school history.

The Cougars will compete next at the Fresno State Invitational on Friday, April 30 at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis, California.

Lundell claims share of individual title at PING Cougar Classic

Four Cougars, including co-champion Carson Lundell, scored under-par as the men’s golf team took third at the 56th annual PING Cougar Classic at Riverside Country Club on Saturday.

“It was fun to see what these guys did this week,” said head coach Bruce Brockbank. “It was great to see Carson win again and Cole Ponich score well today. Everybody stepped up for a good team effort.”

Lundell had three birdies and an eagle in the second round to post his best score of the tournament at 5-under 67. He entered the third and final round on Saturday tied with Hugo Townsend of Boise State and trailing leader Tim Widing of San Francisco by a shot.

Lundell pulled ahead of Townsend in the third round with five birdies and went toe-to-toe with Widing down the stretch. The 54-hole tournament wrapped up with Lundell and Widing tied at 13-under 203. The two were declared co-champions.

No. 28 ranked San Francisco secured the team championship with a three-round total of 41-under 274-282-267—823. The win gives the Dons their fourth tournament title in six events this season.

Boise State posted a 54-hole total of 281-285-270—836 to finish second. The Cougars were third, five shots ahead of No. 29 New Mexico who shot 843.

The Cougar Classic concludes the men’s golf team regular season schedule. BYU now prepares to battle for the WCC men’s golf championship at Reflection Bay Golf Course in Henderson, Nevada on April 29-May 1.

Women’s golf takes third at WCC Championships

BYU women’s golf finished third at the West Coast Conference Championship with a final-round score of 320 at Reflection Bay Golf Course on Saturday.

“I’m proud of how we battled,” said head coach Carrie Roberts. “Until you have been in that high pressure moment, it’s hard to understand just how big it is.”

BYU entered the final round of the WCC Championship in first with a five-shot lead over Gonzaga. A difficult final round of 320 by the Cougars, combined with rounds of 308 for the Zags and 303 for Pepperdine vaulted both teams ahead of BYU into a first-place tie for the tournament title with a 54-hole total of 897.

Gonzaga came up victorious on the second playoff hole to claim its first ever WCC women’s golf championship. BYU’s three-day total of 904 was good for third, with San Francisco finishing fourth at 905 and Santa Clara fifth at 938.

BYU junior Allysha Mae Mateo entered the final round locked in a tight battle for the individual title with Quynn Duong of Gonzaga. A rough back nine for Mateo on Saturday gave her a three-day total of 224, good for a fourth-place tie with three others, including teammate Naomi Soifua. Caroline Hwang of Pepperdine won the individual title with a score of 221 (+5).

Soifua’s 54-hole score of 75-71-78—224 set a new career best, while Mateo’s rounds of 70-71-83—224 gave the Honolulu native her fifth top-5 finish of the season and ninth of her career.

Despite the disappointment of Saturday’s third round, BYU posted its most top-15 finishers of the season with four at the WCC Championship. The team also strung-together five-consecutive top-5 finishes to close out the season.

Baseball loses seventh straight WCC game

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga scored runs in four of the first five innings Saturday night to defeat BYU 7-3 at Patterson Baseball Complex.

The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in bottom of the first inning, then added three more in the second on three walks, two errors and a single to centerfield to take a 4-0 lead

BYU (12-23, 6-9) got on the board with a run in the third inning when a single by Brock Watkins to right center got things going for the Cougars. A fly ball by Chase Taylor moved Watkins to second where he later advanced to third on a balk. With two outs Peyton Cole singled to left field to drive in Watkins. The Cougars would go on to load the bases but were unable to bring in another run, leaving the score 4-1.

Gonzaga (26-13, 14-4) responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the third and tacked on another run in the top of the fifth to take a commanding 7-1 lead.

The Cougars loaded the bases again with one out in the sixth inning, but a Bulldog double-play ended the threat.

BYU threatened again in the eighth with back-to-back hits to lead off the inning. Cole singled to center and scored from first on a triple off the center field wall in the deepest part of the ballpark by Cole Gambill to cut into the Zags lead. A ground ball to second by Joshua Cowden would score Gambill and cut the Zags lead to 7-3.

The Zags improved to 14-4 in the West Coast Conference where they have a two-game lead over second place San Diego who is 10-4. The Cougars fall to eighth place in the conference with a record of 6-9.

BYU is back in action in a unique Monday morning game versus Arizona State at 11 a.m. MDT at Miller Park in Provo. The game will be broadcast live on the BYUtv App and online at BYUtv.org, as well as the BYU Sports Network: BYU Radio FM 107.7, BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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