BRISBANE, Calif. – Sophomore outfielder Tiffany Smith led BYU-Hawaii softball to a doubleheader split with Academy of Art on Wednesday at Mission Blue Field. The Seasiders (8-28, 4-22 PacWest) were unable to complete the comeback in the first game falling 5-4, but took the second game 8-4 over the Urban Knights (25-25, 15-13 PacWest).
Smith was .500 (3-for-6) from the plate with two doubles, two RBI and a run for BYU-Hawaii. Brandy Karl added a 2-for-5 day at the plate with a walk and two runs for the Seasiders. Chelsie Childs (3-4) pitched the complete game in the second half of the twin bill to pick up the victory, allowing five hits, three earned runs and striking out three.
Academy of Art grabbed an early lead with back-to-back homeruns in the bottom of the second inning. Nirana Singh put a two-run shot over the left-field fence, followed by Jasmine Dickenson's solo homer to center for the 3-0 lead.
Karl singled through the right side to lead off the top of the third, as BYU-Hawaii attempted to close the gap. Courtney Hiruko then singled through the left side and advanced on the throw to put two runners in scoring position with one out. The Urban Knights prevented them from advancing any further with consecutive ground outs.
Hallie Curtis added a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth and Elise Oldham singled in another for Academy of Art in the fifth to extend the lead to 5-0.
The Seasiders mounted a comeback in the sixth inning beginning with Brittany Vasquez's one-out walk. Kalynn Latu then singled up the middle and Sarah Captain reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. Whitney Gustafson hit a sharp grounder to third to allow Vasquez cross the plate for BYU-Hawaii. Karl walked to load the bases once again for the Seasiders with two outs. Smith then singled up the middle to score two and close the gap to 5-3. Hiruko drew a walk to load the bases for the third time in the inning. Whitley Haimin reached on a fielding error by the shortstop, allowing Karl to come home and close the gap to one. Lizabelle Talataina hit a ball hard towards the right-center gap on the next at bat, but the right fielder was able to get under it to end the inning.
The Urban Knights threatened to extend the lead again in the bottom of the sixth, but Smith grabbed the ball off the fence in left-center field and threw to Latu, who gunned out Dickenson at home for the third out.
Vasquez singled to lead off the seventh and Camry Erickson came in to pinch run for her. Erickson then stole second with two outs to put the tying run in scoring position for BYU-Hawaii, but the Seasiders were unable to get her across.
BYU-Hawaii carried its momentum into the second game to grab an early lead. Hiruko reached first after she was hit by a pitch. Talataina then hit her second homerun of the series over the left-center fence to give the Seasiders the 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the frame, Jessica West grounded out to second with the bases loaded to pull Academy of Art back within one. It was the closest the Urban Knights would get for the remainder of the game.
After a scoreless second inning, Karl singled to lead off the top of the third for BYU-Hawaii. Smith then doubled to left center to put runners at second and third with no outs. Hiruko grounded out to second, allowing Karl to come home. Haimin then singled home Smith to make it 4-1 in the Seasiders' favor. Talataina and Williamson each walked to load the bases for BYU-Hawaii with two outs. Latu walked to bring home one and Captain cleared the bases with a double to left center to give BYU-Hawaii the 8-1 lead.
Childs took over from there allowing no hits in the bottom of the frame and then stranded two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth. The Urban Knights managed only one hit on Childs over the next two inning.
In the bottom of the seventh a sacrifice fly scored one and two throwing errors allowed two more runs to cross for Academy of Art, but the lead was too large as Smith grabbed a line drive to center to end the game.
BYU-Hawaii will return to the diamond with a doubleheader against Dominican on Friday beginning at noon PDT at Penguin Field. Live stats will be available online.