BYU-Idaho State softball 2021

Tempe, Ariz. – BYU softball avoided elimination in two-straight games at Farrington Stadium on Friday, beating Southern Illinois 7-2, and taking down No. 15 Arizona State in a thrilling 9-8 victory.

With Arizona State ahead 7-5 in the bottom of the sixth, BYU began to chip away at the Sun Devils' lead. Two singles from Marissa Chavez and Alyssa Podhurcak got the Cougars in scoring position before a Kaylee Erickson double brought Chavez home and sent Taylei Williams, pinch-running for Podhurcak, to third.

A fielder's choice from Erin Miklus put runners on the corners and Arizona State intentionally walked leadoff hitter Jensen to load the bases. A go-ahead single from Zavodnik brought Miklus and Erickson home to put BYU up 8-7. BYU tacked on one more as Huntyr Ava hit a single bringing Jensen home for a 9-7 advantage.

In the top of the seventh, a leadoff dinger from the Sun Devils brought the game within one at 9-8. However, groundouts retired the next two batters before Arissa Paulson finished the game with a swinging strikeout to eliminate the host-team No. 12/15 Arizona State.

“Going out there and playing to win is what we push as a program,” said BYU head coach Gordon Eakin. “I thought our kids did that all day long, we just took the game to the opponent and it was a lot of fun.”

In the win against Illinois State, Zavodnik was 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI and Autumn Moffat-Korth pitched a complete game with eight strikeouts.

Avoiding elimination in two-straight games, BYU now advances to the Tempe Regional Final and a rematch with No. 21 Virginia Tech on Saturday, May 22, at 4 p.m. MDT on ESPN3.

The Hokies need to win once to advance to the Super Regional, while the Cougars would have to win twice. If a second game is necessary, it is scheduled to be played at 6:30 p.m. MDT, or 45 minutes following the first game.

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

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