EUGENE, Ore. — Winning pitcher Nicole Newman went 2-for-2 with a solo home run to help Drake rally past West Coast Conference champion BYU 3-2 in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament Thursday in Eugene, Oregon.
"Tough loss. Game of inches," BYU coach Gordon Eakin told the Deseret News. "We’ll have to rebound, come back and take it one pitch at a time. That truly was a game of inches, so we have to regroup."
Libby Sugg was 1-for-3 with an RBI to lead BYU (35-21), which will play UAlbany in an elimination game Friday at 4:30 p.m. MDT.
Taryn Pena scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning, scampering home on a bases-loaded walk to Tasha Alexander, 3-2.
Mandi Roemmich started the rally with a fifth-inning single to center field that drove in Libby Ryan, and the Missouri Valley champion Bulldogs held the Cougars to just six hits and scoreless in the final three frames.
Roemmich finished 2-for-4 with an RBI for Drake (44-10).
Brooke Vander Heide gave BYU a 2-1 lead with an RBI single to center in the bottom of the fourth. But it was all the scoring the Cougars would do.