STILLWATER, Okla. — BYU softball's bid to advance to the super regional round of the NCAA Tournament suffered a blow on Thursday with a 3-1 loss to No. 13 and regional host Oklahoma State. A quick start by the Cowboys out of the gate put the Cougars behind throughout, with not enough offense mounted to help out an otherwise solid pitching performance from Arissa Paulson.
Paulson's counterpart, OSU's Samantha Show, did it from both the pitching circle and the plate, pitching a complete game to go along well with her RBI double in the second inning that gave her team a quick 3-0 lead. She also contributed a run in the first inning as Oklahoma State appeared primed to put together an easy win.
But the Cougars showed solid after the first two innings, with Paulson leading the way to pitch four straight scoreless innings despite issuing five bases-on-balls.
But Show was at least as tough as Paulson throughout, holding the Cougars to just three hits while issuing just two walks. BYU did break through for a run in the top of the sixth, courtesy of an RBI single off the bat of Libby Sugg, although a groundout by Paulson ended the threat.
Sugg proved the Cougars' best player from the plate in the loss, contributing two of her teams' three hits. The other hit came off the bat of West Coast Conference Player of the Year Lexi Tarrow.
The Cougars will now look to rebound taking on Arkansas, which lost 5-0 to Tulsa, in what will serve as an elimination game on Friday. First pitch will be at 2:30 p.m. CDT with the winner advancing to take on the loser of Oklahoma State's game versus Tulsa.
Regional play wraps up Saturday with the winner advancing to the 16-team super regional round.