CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif.—Katie Manuma’s grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning wasn’t enough as the BYU softball fell to UC Santa Barbara 12-10 in its last game of the Mary Nutter Classic on Saturday.
The Cougars (5-10) had a 10-3 deficit heading into the bottom of the seventh frame but a combined five hits, including Manuma’s grand slam, brought the game to a 10-10 tie. However, UCSB answered with two runs in the top of the eighth to improve to 9-3 on the season.
Marissa Bravo led BYU offensively, going 2 for 3 with an RBI and run scored. JC Clayton extended her hitting streak to 14 games and is one game away from tying her career high. Manuma’s grand slam was her third homerun of the season and gives her 15 RBI to lead the team this season. It was also the first grand slam of her career. Hannah Howell pitched 7.2 innings in the loss, giving up eight earned runs on twelve Gaucho hits.
Down 10-3 in the bottom of the seventh, BYU looked to regain momentum. After back-to-back singles from Coryn Tauali’i and Anna Hudson, Mylee Davis reached on a throwing error which advanced her to second and scored the first run of the inning. BYU scored two more runs before loading the bases off singles from Carly Duckworth and Bravo to bring Manuma to the plate. The grand slam from Manuma tied the game at 10-10 to send BYU to its first extra-inning game of the season.
Due to the extra inning rule, UCSB started the top of the eighth with a runner on second base. BYU held the first two batters off base, but surrendered a triple to the third batter to bring in the go-ahead run for the Gauchos. Another single gave UCSB the security run it needed to head into the bottom of the inning up 12-10. UCSB struck out BYU’s first two batters and forced Lacey Millett to fly out for the third out to take the 12-10 victory.
UCSB scored seven runs before BYU was even able to get on the board, scoring one run in the first, third and fourth innings to go up 3-0. In the top of the fourth, Umphlett came in to pitch for Howell and gave up one run on three walks and one hit by pitch. Howell re-entered the game, but couldn’t hold the Gauchos at bay, giving up three more runs to put UCSB up 7-0.
BYU took back three runs in the bottom of the frame off singles from Alexandra Hudson Shamo and Clayton to cut the Gaucho lead to 7-3.
UCSB added two more runs in the sixth and seventh to pad its lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, but BYU’s seven runs sent the game into extra innings anyway.
BYU wasn’t able to hold the momentum through the eighth inning and fell to USCB 12-10 in another heartbreaker.
BYU will look to rebound as it travels to the San Diego Classic on Feb. 28 through March 2 in San Diego, Calif.