LAKEWOOD — Freshman right-hander Taylor Petty looked like anything but a pitcher six months removed from surgery at Lisa Fernandez Field on Saturday morning.
The hurler led Long Beach State to a 5-0 win over Brigham Young in the 49er softball team’s first game of the day at the Mayfair Tournament.
Petty, making just her second career start but eighth appearance in the circle, hurled her second consecutive complete-game shutout for the 49ers (9-7), who have won five straight games.
“She had an outstanding performance today,” LBSU head coach Kim Sowder said. “She was able to keep their hitters off balance and we couldn’t ask for a better performance.”
Petty (4-0) scattered five hits and struck out three over seven innings to lower her ERA to 0.51.
“I was just focusing on hitting my spots and I was able to pop them up,” Petty said. “The hitters are a lot better [in college,] so I was working on my control and movement [on my pitches.]”
The 5-foot-5 San Pedro native had right elbow surgery in August and said, “I took it as slowly as I could. My arm feels so much better.”
BYU starter Paige Affleck had the 49er hitters guessing just as much through the first six innings, utilizing her changeup all day.
Affleck (5-5) went the distance and struck out eight batters, including three looking, but walked six. The right-hander yielded five runs — one earned — on six hits for the Cougars (9-10), who didn’t help her defensively.
“That could’ve frustrated our hitters but they found a way to put the ball in play and [BYU] made some [mistakes,]” Sowder said.
Leading 1-0, the ‘Niners came up with four insurance runs in the top of the seventh with the help of an error by BYU third baseman Angeline Quiocho to start the frame.
Center fielder Brianna Goad led off the inning with a chopper to third, but Quiocho air-mailed the throw and Goad advanced to second.
After a strikeout, left fielder Ashley Weber delivered her fourth RBI of the year on a double to extend the 49er lead to 2-0.
Affleck walked Jennifer Griffin and struck out Kristen Pocock swinging on a 2-2 changeup, but LBSU’s Brandy Reyes worked some two-out magic with the help of another lapse by the Cougars’ defense.
Reyes blooped a two-run single between the shortstop and left fielder, as Kristi Delahoussaye gave up on the play and charging outfielder Caschjen Davis was unable to make a diving catch. Reyes advanced to third as Griffin scored on a play at the plate.
First baseman Jonae Perez, who went 1-for-2 and reached base three times, singled home Reyes to cap the scoring.
Petty needed just 22 pitches to retire seven straight batters between the third and fifth inning. She allowed just one runner to reach third base, but induced Quiocho into a fly ball on just two pitches to end BYU’s lone threat in the sixth.
LBSU tried to mount a two-out rally in the top of the sixth, drawing a pair of walks to put runners on first and second for Jodi Nakawatase. Affleck regrouped, however, striking out the second baseman on an 0-2 changeup to end the inning.
The 49ers threatened to have a big inning in the top of the second, loading the bases with nobody out, but produced just one run.
Pocock smoked a leadoff double down the right-field line off Affleck and advanced to third on a wild pitch to begin the frame. Reyes and Perez both drew walks but Ashley Levine struck out looking.
Nakawatase plated Pocock on an groundout to second to put LBSU on the board, but Affleck struck out Goad swinging to escape the jam.
The ‘Niners return to the field to play Wisconsin later in the afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.