PROVO, Utah -
Highlighted by a grand slam and solid pitching, Utah State softball defeated in-state rival BYU, 4-2, Wednesday.
The win marked USU's first victory over BYU since the 2006 season and snapped a 17-game winning streak in the series for the Cougars.
Freshman Delaney Hull pitched the complete game for the Aggies, striking out five batters without giving up any walks. Sophomore designated player Allanah Alvarado was 1-for-2 on the night, hitting the first grand slam of her career.
With the win, Utah State improves to 17-27, while BYU falls to 25-20 on the year.
Utah State made quick work in the top of the first, loading the bases with just one out on the board. Senior outfielder Emily Hunter reached base on a BYU error, while sophomore outfielder Riley Plogger and senior catcher Brina Buttacavoli followed with a single and a walk, respectively. Unfortunately, back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning with all three runners stranded. The Cougars followed suit in the bottom of the inning, leading off with a single and a double. After a strikeout, a single up the middle brought in the first two runs of the day.
The Aggies were able to load the bases again in the top of the third, before the defense could record multiple outs. A BYU error put Plogger on first, where she advanced to third on a single from Buttacavoli. Junior third baseman Bailee Trapp was hit by the first pitch she faced to load the bases. Working the count full, Alvarado hit the ball over the center field fence for the grand slam to give the Aggies the lead.
After getting just one hit over the second and third innings, BYU's best chance came in the bottom of the fourth. The Cougars got two runners in scoring position. Back-to-back outs by the Aggie defense stranded both runners to end the inning.
Utah State found itself in a similar situation in the top of the fifth. Trapp and Alvarado were both hit by a pitch to get on base early. Freshman Stephanie Reed came up with a pinch-hit single, but Trapp was thrown out at the plate trying to advance from second, ending the inning.
The Aggies got one more runner on base with a walk in the top of the seventh, but relied on the defense to finish the game. The Cougars led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, but three straight outs ended the night with Reed making the final out on a pop-up.
On the night, BYU tallied seven hits to Utah State's six, while each team had two errors.
Utah State will wrap up non-conference play this weekend with two neutral-site games against Louisiana Tech. The Aggies and Lady Techsters will meet in McKinney, Texas, with action set for Friday, April 27, at 6 p.m. (MT) and Saturday, April 28, at 1 p.m.
Fans can follow the Aggie softball program on Twitter, @USUSoftball, on Facebook at /USUSoftball or on Instagram, @ususoftball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at /USUAthletics and on Instagram, @USUAthletics.
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