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UVU softball: Wolverines fall to Cougars on Tuesday night in Provo

Head UVU coach Nikki Palmer (center) chats with pitcher Bailey Moore (left) and catcher Kori Barrios (right) against Utah State at Wolverine Field on March 15. The Wolverines fell to BYU, 8-0, on Tuesday night in Provo.
Head UVU coach Nikki Palmer (center) chats with pitcher Bailey Moore (left) and catcher Kori Barrios (right) against Utah State at Wolverine Field on March 15. The Wolverines fell to BYU, 8-0, on Tuesday night in Provo.
Linsey McClain, UVU Athletics

The Utah Valley University softball team fell to neighboring rival BYU, 8-0, on Tuesday night at Gail Miller Field. Brigham Young's McKenna Bull pitched a two-hit shutout for the Cougars en route to the victory.

"That wasn't our best game. We have a lot to learn from it," head coach Nikki Palmer said. "McKenna (Bull) is always a good opponent and threw another solid game against us here tonight."

The Cougars (19-12), who are currently receiving votes for the top 25 poll, jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after scoring two in the first and two more in the second. An error aided the Cougars in the opening inning while Lauren Bell delivered a two-out two-run home run in the second to give BYU the early four-run advantage.

Brigham Young then tacked on another run in the third and one more in the fourth — thanks to a solo home run from Libby Sugg — to extend its advantage to 6-0. The Cougars then put the game away via the run-rule in the fifth by scoring two more runs to end the contest in five innings.

Bull, the reigning West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week, improved to 14-8 the season after allowing just two hits while striking out seven in the contest. Utah Valley's Bailey Moore suffered the loss after allowing three earned runs in 1.2 innings to drop to 2-12 on the year.

The Wolverines (4-22) had their best chance to score in the fourth after Dana De La Torre reached on an error and Kendall Ohman broke up Bull's no-hitter with an infield single to put runners on first and second with just one away. The BYU starter then managed to answer right back for the Cougars, however, by striking out the next two Wolverine batters she faced to strand the runners.

Dynasty Lauvai added the second hit of the game for UVU in the fifth with a leadoff single, but the Wolverine senior was later erased off the base paths on a double play.

Ohman and Lauvai led the Wolverine offense in the game by each recording a hit, while Sugg and Coco Bond led the Cougars by finishing with 2-for-2 performances.

The contest marked the lone ballgame of the week for the Wolverines.

UVU is off until April 1-2, when it heads to Bakersfield, California, to open Western Athletic Conference play in a three-game series against CSU Bakersfield. Game one of the weekend conference series begins on Friday, April 1, at 3 p.m. MT.

"We're anxious to move forward with conference play coming up," Palmer said. "We'll look to show the conference what we've learned from playing all of these tough opponents and take it one game at a time."

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.