BYU started its season in Tempe, Ariz., and ended its season in Tempe on Saturday.
On a day when it seemed as if nothing could go right, the Cougars fell to Virginia Tech a second time in the Tempe Regional — this time by the NCAA’s run rule in five innings, 11-3, in the regional final. BYU had made it to Saturday’s game by winning two elimination games on Friday, but the Hokies proved to be too much to handle.
The Cougars lost longtime head coach Gordon Eakin in the first inning when he was ejected for his reaction to an obstruction call that put the Hokies up 2-0.
In the bottom of the third, BYU made two pitching changes. Arissa Paulson came in to take over for starter Autumn Koffat-Morth, but was then replaced by Carley Brown after Virginia Tech got its lead up to 7-0.
The Hokies added a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, giving BYU only three more outs to keep the game alive.
And the Cougars responded.
BYU freshman Violet Zavodnik, who earned West Coast Conference Player and Freshman of the Year honors, hit a double with two outs to give the Cougars two runners. Next up, Huntyr Ava homered to left field to bring in Zavodnik and Erin Miklus.
However, after BYU got the momentum for the first time all game, Virginia Tech responded with a two-run homer, shifting the momentum back to the Hokies.
The Cougars continued to dig into their depth in the bullpen and brought out their fourth pitcher: Reggie Kanagawa.
Virginia Tech’s Alexa Milius homered to center field to still put an end to the game early.
This story will be updated.
BYU softball eliminated from NCAA Tournament in Tempe Regional final /p>