PROVO, Utah – In the first conference action of the season, Santa Clara softball was swept at BYU by scores of 8-1 and 13-5 in six innings Friday evening.
Santa Clara (5-25, 0-1) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first but saw BYU (19-18, 1-0) come right back with an answer in the bottom of the frame. The Cougars would take advantage of Bronco starter Aubree Kim's wildness and score eight unanswered runs behind a three-run fourth and a four-run fifth.
Kim (2-11) threw a 6-inning complete game but walked 11 and surrendered eight hits en route to giving up eight runs, seven earned.
On the other side, Kerisa Viramontes (9-6) was strong in the complete game victory. She fanned 10 while allowing one run on six hits with two walks.
Rylee Jensen, Libby Sugg, and Madison Merrell all drove in two runs for BYU with Jensen also scoring a pair of runs and Merrell finishing the day 3-for-3.
Eleni Spirakis led the Santa Clara offense with a pair of hits and an RBI. Morgan Modesto added a double, a walk, and scored a run.
After making her collegiate debut in the circle on Wednesday, Adele Elkind made her first start for Santa Clara (5-26, 0-2) but BYU (20-18, 2-0) jumped on the sophomore for five runs in the first inning.
The Cougars would continue to add-on, answering a three-spot from the Broncos in the sixth with four of their own in the bottom of the inning to put the run rule into effect.
Six different BYU players had multiple hits, with Lexi Tarrow and Olivia Sanchez leading the way with three apiece. Sugg added two hits, including a home run, and had four RBIs and scored three runs while Merrell hit a three-run home run to close out the game.
Despite the early deficit, the Broncos were able to hang around thanks to sloppy defense by the Cougars, who committed nine errors in the game. BYU made at least two errors in each of the three innings that Santa Clara was able to plate runs.
Autumn Moffat (4-4) went 5-plus innings to get the win, despite not getting any help from her defense. She allowed two unearned runs on four this with four strikeouts.
The Broncos biggest inning was the sixth, when they scored three times to get within 9-5. The bases were loaded with one out on two errors and a hit-by-pitch when Katherine Sanchez brought home two with a single to right center. After another walk loaded the bases, Ellie Fisher grounded out for an RBI.
Elkind helped herself with an RBI single in the second and Hannah Russell, Sarah Ellersick, and Taylor Burns each scored a run.
Elkind (0-1) ended up taking the loss in 5 1/3 innings. She allowed 13 runs, 10 earned, on 15 hits with two walks.
The Broncos and Cougars conclude the series tomorrow at 10 a.m. Pacific