(Courtesy of BYU Media Services)
SAN DIEGO – With a game-winning RBI from Gordy Bravo in the 12th inning, BYU softball topped San Diego 1-0 to win the 2016 West Coast Conference title on Friday night.
"That was an incredibly well-played game by both teams in terms of pitching and defense," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "Their pitcher did an excellent job against our hitters, but we hung in there and toughed it out. McKenna (Bull) threw her heart out and our defense played great until we found a way to score. I'm really proud of our kids, and we will really cherish another conference championship."
With this win, BYU (34-18, 11-2 WCC) has clinched the WCC title for the third year in a row, winning its eighth straight conference championship. San Diego (21-28, 7-6 WCC) is now in a race for second with Loyola Marymount.
In the top of the 12th, Caitlyn Larsen walked and advanced to second off a sacrifice bunt from Bond. Madison Merrell’s fly out in right field gave Larsen enough time to sprint to third. Bravo hit an infield single to bring in Larsen for the first run of the game and the lead.
The 12-inning victory also marks the longest game in BYU history since a 6-5 loss to Colorado State in 16 innings in 2002. The last extra-innings game the Cougars won was a 5-4 win in nine innings against Wisconsin in the first tournament earlier this season.
In her 200th career start, Bravo went 3 for 6 with the game-winning RBI in the 12th inning. McKenna Bull pitched all 12 innings from the circle, tied for second-most pitched in a single game in BYU history. She threw 10 strikeouts with three walks in the win, increasing her record to 26-11.