SOFTBALL: In Las Cruces, N.M., All-American Oli Keohohou hit a two-run home run in the fifth ining to seal the a 7-1 win for BYU over host New Mexico State, Thursday. The Cougars (16-7) have now won seven straight games and the home run was the eighth on the season for Keohohou.
Trailing 1-0 in the top of the third, junior shortstop Kate Walker hit a solo home run, her first of the season, to left center field to tie the score. Sophomore catcher Lauren Watson singled and was brought home by senior Brooke Cadiente's two-run home run, her seventh of the season, to take a 3-1 lead.
The Cougars reeled off four runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach. Sophomore MIlli Jones drew a walk and was brought home by Keohohou's home run over center field for a 5-1 lead.
Walker then singled and Watson drew a walk. Cadiente reached on a fielder's choice that got Walker out at third. Freshman Ashlyn Russell walked to load the bases. Fellow freshman Ianeta Lei reached on a fielder's choice that scored Watson. The Aggies then tried to pick off Cadiente at third base but the throw went to left field and the MWC Player of the Week score the final run for the Cougars.
Senior Cynthia Fallowfield (4-2) started the game and picked up the win in five innings on the mound and gave up only three hits.
Freshman Brooke Boyce relieved Fallowfield and gave up one hit in two innings.
The Cougars will play tomorrow against the UConn Huskies at noon, followed by Missouri-Kansas City at 4 p.m. BYU wil conclude the tournament on Saturday against New Mexico at noon and Texas-San Antonio at 4 p.m. The Cougars will play the conference opener at home against Utah next Saturday, March 29 at Gail Miller Field starting at noon.
BASEBALL: Despite an incredible outing by Jeff Mousser, who retired 19 consecutive batters, BYU came up short Thursday in a 6-5 loss against league-leading UNLV in its home opener.
Mousser (3-2) was tagged for five runs in the first three innings of the ball game, but was much improved as the game wore on, giving up one hit to the final 22 batters he faced. Despite picking up the loss, the Cougar hurler went the distance, allowing just five hits and one walk.
Jake Stubblefield put the Cougars (6-13, 1-3) out to an early 2-1 lead in the first, sending the ball deep over the right-center field fence for his team-leading fifth home run of the season.
An RBI triple by Doug Jackson, who was 3-for-5 on the night, in the second inning, added another run to the Cougar tally, bringing the score to 3-1. Jackson's triple was his sixth of the season and the 21st of his career.
UNLV (18-7, 4-0) took a 5-3 lead in the third, when the first four Rebel hitters reached base and scored. A two-out rally by the Cougars in the fourth, which included three consecutive singles, cut the Rebels' lead in half, 5-4.
The score remained constant until the eighth when Brock Jacobsen hit a dramatic game-tying home run to center field, a hard line drive that cleared the fence by less than five feet. The Cougar momentum and Mousser's streak were stopped in the ninth when Patrick Dobson hit a one-out home run directly over the 400-foot marker in center.
Despite putting a runner on in the ninth, the Cougars were unable to score.
Thursday's defeat was the sixth one-run loss for the Cougars, who had twice as many hits as the Rebels, but again came up short.
"We just seem to give up runs at inopportune times," said BYU Head Coach, Vance Law. "I feel that we played hard and hit the ball well, we just caught some bad breaks." Thursday's attendance was 1,092.
The Cougars will be back in action Friday evening at 7 p.m. for the second game of a three-game series. Friday's game will be broadcast locally on KOVO 960 AM and will be webcast over the Internet through links on www.byucougars.com.
TRACK/FIELD: The BYU men's and women's track and field teams will kick off their outdoor season this weekend at the Willie Williams Classic hosted by the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz.
The Cougars will compete against athletes from New Mexico State Minnesota, Washington State, University of Arizona, Western State, Central Arizona and Pima Community College. BYU just finished its indoor season with the women placing 13th and the men placing 27th at nationals.
For BYU women's team, senior Nikki Hughes finished her collegiate carreer with the indoor season, but several other athletes will join the roster, including distance runners Laura Turner and Devra Vierkant.
On the men's team, hurdler Greg Flint will come off a redshirt to compete in the outdoor season, and Tyler Bushnell will run the steeplechase and finish his eligibility this year.
The meet will mix high school and collegiate events. Collegiate competition will begin Friday, March 21 at 4 p.m., and will continue Saturday, March 22 at 10 a.m. The meet will end with the 4x400-meter relay races around 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
SOFTBALL: In Sacramento, Calif., the Utah State softball team lost its first game of the Capital Classic to Iowa 9-0 here Thursday. The Aggies' lone hit came in the bottom of the fifth inning as Aimee Johnson doubled down the right field line. With the loss, the Aggies drop to 2-15 and Iowa improves to 16-5.
The fifth inning proved to be painful for the Aggies as they gave up seven runs.
Utah State continues play at the Capital Classic in Sacramento Calif. Friday at 1:30 p.m. against the seventh ranked California Golden Bears.