BYU loses NCAA softball opener 3-1 to No. 13 Oklahoma State, drops into elimination bracket

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes host the BYU Cougars, NCAA softball in Salt Lake City, Wednesday April 18, 2018. BYU's Rylee Jensen.

Stillwater, Okla. • Hits were in short supply for BYU’s softball team Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament and the Cougars fell 3-1 to No. 13 Oklahoma State in a first-round matchup at Cowgirl Stadium.

Oklahoma State pitcher Samantha Show limited West Coast Conference champion BYU (29-25) to just three hits and picked up her 18th win of the season.

Arissa Paulson pitched reasonably well for BYU, but dropped to 15-11 as she gave up five hits. The Cowgirls (40-14) scored all their runs in the first two innings and stranded six baserunners. Paulson, the WCC Pitcher of the Year, struck out three but walked five in a complete-game performance.

Senior catcher Libby Sugg went 2 for 2 with a walk and drove in Rylee Jensen for BYU’s only run. Jensen had drawn a one-out walk and advanced to second on Taylei Williams’ groundout.

West Coast Conference Player of the Year Lexi Tarrow had BYU’s only other hit.

Show also doubled and drove in a run for OSU, hosting a regional for the first time since 1996.

BYU played without head coach Gordon Eakin, who had an undisclosed family emergency arise that needed his attention, according to the ESPN broadcast.

BYU will face Arkansas (38-19), which lost 5-0 to Tulsa in Thursday’s early game, at 2:30 p.m. MDT Friday. The loser of that game will be eliminated, while the winner will play again at 5 p.m. Friday.