After narrowly losing the opening game of a doubleheader, the Weber State University softball team was blown out in the second game on Wednesday.

In the Wildcats’ first home game of the year, they fell 2-1 to the Utah State University Aggies, and fell 11-3 in the second game of the doubleheader.

Over the two games, Brooke Silva, Desiree Meia and Rudi Barrios batted well for WSU, each with two hits on the day. WSU, however, wasn’t able to turn those hits into runs or sustained pressure on the Aggies. In the two games the Wildcats totaled seven hits.

Head coach Tina Johnson said the team has struggled with hitting and needs to improve on it.

“We need time to get it right at the plate,” Johnson said. “I’m encouraged by the potential power we have, but it’s all about pitch selection. We have the hitters, if they pick the right pitches to swing at and the right ones to let go.”

In the first game of the day, USU took the lead in the top of the third inning, scoring two runs. The Wildcats were once again hurt by leaving runners on base, leaving four players on base in the last two innings of the game. In the sixth inning, the potential game-tying run was on third base, but WSU was unable to bring her home.

The Wildcats scored on a throwing error in the sixth inning. Pinch runner Jessica Chaulkin took advantage of the error and scored from third base to give WSU a chance late in the game.

USU came out swinging in the second game and took a commanding lead in the first inning, scoring four runs off of four hits. By the third inning, the Aggie lead was 8-0. WSU got its first run of the game in the bottom of the third when Barrios hit a sacrifice fly to center field and freshman Kyralyn Kawasaki scored.

In the fifth inning, the Aggies scored another run in their half of the inning. The Wildcats managed to get two more runs, thanks to a double by Silva, then scored their final run of the game in the sixth inning on an Alyson Kulp sacrifice fly to left field, which scored pinch runner Brooke Ford.

The Wildcats will remain at home and return to action on March 22 against the University of North Dakota in the first Big Sky Conference game. WSU will play an 18-game conference season this year.

WSU has had a tough preseason schedule and have managed two wins so far this season, but Johnson said she is hopeful for the conference season and thinks all the difficult tournament games could go a long way in helping the team this year.

“Those early tournaments were about us watching and learning which players are making adjustments, how they handle pressure, and how quickly they improve their skills and decision-making on the field,” Johnson said.

The Wildcats will start off their regular season with a 10-game home stand before hitting the road in early April. The team has a total of 13 remaining home games before the Big Sky Tournament. The conference tournament will take place May 10-11.

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