May 21, 2010

*Courtesy of BYU Athletics

AUSTIN, Texas - BYU scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh, winning the game on a sacrifice fly by JC Clayton with the bases loaded, scoring Jessica Dugas to defeat Texas, 9-8 on Friday and advance to the championship game of the NCAA Austin Regional.

BYU will have two chances to advance to its first-ever NCAA Super Regional on Saturday with the first game beginning at 1:00 p.m. CDT against the remaining team out of Texas, East Carolina and Iona.

Loading the bases for the third consecutive inning, junior Kristin Delahoussaye turned an 8-6 deficit into a tied game with a double deep to centerfield.

With Delahoussaye on second and Dugas at third, freshman JC Clayton fouled off the first pitch she saw down the leftfield line. Dugas tagged up after the catch by the Texas outfielder, beating a late tag to give BYU its first-ever two wins in two games at an NCAA Regional.

Angeline Quiocho gave BYU a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth, launching her third grand slam of the season, tying a BYU single-season record for her NCAA-leading 27th homer on the year.

But up 5-2, BYU saw its lead quickly vanish as the Texas hitters found gap after gap against all three BYU pitchers. A two-run home run by Amy Hooks began the run. Four singles and an error later and the Cougars found themselves in an 8-5 hole.

Quiocho walked to send in a run, but the next three BYU batters retired without another run scored, leaving the Cougars down heading into the final inning, 8-6.

Jessica Fitu put BYU on top 1-0 in the second inning, towering a solo shot for her ninth home run of the season.

Freshman Hannah Howell earned the win in her first NCAA action, pitching 1.1 innings while giving up no runs and striking out one. Starting pitcher Paige Affleck threw four innings of shutout ball before being relieve in the fifth, earning four strikeouts and one earned run.

Centerfielder Dugas went 3-for-3 with three runs.