May 22, 2010

*Courtesy of BYU Athletics

AUSTIN, Texas - Ten years in the making, BYU advanced to its first-ever NCAA Super Regional in school history, romping East Carolina 8-3 in the championship game of the NCAA Austin Regional at McCombs Field on Saturday.

JC Clayton finished an outstanding weekend, going 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs. Clayton went 8-for-11 (.727), in the Cougars' three games, adding the game-winning sac fly against Texas on Friday. Jessica Fitu went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run while junior Paige Affleck earned the win with four strikeouts and two earned runs.

BYU (46-11) scored one run in the first four innings on a hopping ground ball by Jessica Dugas that brought in Caschjen Atagi, but the Cougars left two on base in the inning after ending the third inning empty-handed despite loading the bases with one out.

The Cougars would not make the same mistake again in the top of the fifth. Freshman JC Clayton extended her team-high hit streak to 13-straight games and senior Angeline Quiocho reached base each on singles to start the inning. After Andrea Ramirez flied out, Atagi loaded the bases on a walk.

Atagi's walk set the stage for a six-run fifth inning when junior Jessica Fitu doubled deep to left to score two and put BYU in front, 3-2. Junior Delaney Willard and Amanda Kellum followed, each with an RBI-single.

After Dugas made it three-straight singles to put three runners on base, Kristin Delahoussaye hit a sac fly to bring in Willard and Clayton recorded her third hit of the day and second of the inning, scoring pinch runner Tiffany Messerschmidt to give BYU a commanding 7-2 lead.

It was the second day in a row the BYU lineup rocked a conference pitcher of the year, this time posting two-time Conference USA's best hurler, Toni Paisley, with her worst numbers of the season with six earned runs on 12 hits. The Cougars finished with 17 hits on the day, tying for the third-most hits in a game for BYU this year.

Quiocho hit her first triple of the season in the top of the seventh, scoring Clayton for BYU's final run.

BYU will await the winner out of the Tempe Regional and will begin its Super Regional and a site yet to be determined.