The Weber State University softball team dropped both games in a two-game series with in-state opponent Utah Valley University on Wednesday afternoon.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Wildcats had the game in control until giving up a six-run seventh inning.
The Wildcats jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning. After a lead-off triple from freshman Alyson Kulp, junior Brooke Silva drove her in on an infield single. Sophomore Stephanie Mathias drove in two more runs on a double to left center field. WSU had the early 3-0 lead.
The Wolverines got on the board in the fourth inning. After a double to center from senior Krystin Jachim, junior Debra Lovell hit a deep ball to right field that cleared the fence and the bases.
WSU added runs in both the fifth and sixth innings with RBI singles from Silva and Mathias, bringing the lead to 5-2 at the end of six innings.
The Wolverines came out swinging in the top of the seventh inning, scoring six runs on three hits. The Wildcats also had three errors in the inning.
“In the seventh inning, we played a little shy, not as aggressive as we should have,” said head coach Tina Johnson. “If you leave the door open, other teams are going to crash into it and bust through it, and that’s what happened. We left the door open. We had an opportunity to close it a couple times and get some extra runs and it just didn’t happen for us.”
The Wildcats tried to put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh. After an RBI single by sophomore Janel Cunningham, the Wildcats were in prime position to take the game with the bases loaded and no outs. But the Wolverine coach made a timely pitching change, bringing in senior Tiffany Mills. Mills went on to get three consecutive strikeouts, ending the game. UVU won the game 8-6.
Lovell went 2-4 for UVU, scoring two runs and driving in three. Mathias finished 2-4 with three RBIs for WSU, with Silva going 3-4 with one run scored and two RBIs.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Wolverines were in control the whole game, winning 8-0 in five innings.
UVU drew first blood in the top of the third. After a single from Jachim, junior Amanda Robinson hit a home run over the center field wall, scoring two.
In the fourth inning, the Wolverines had another big inning, scoring six runs, pushing the lead to 8-0. Jachim had a double that drove in three runs in the inning as UVU had five hits in the inning.
The game was called after five innings.
“I think the biggest thing is that you play the game the same way in the first inning that you play in the seventh inning — aggressively and to win,” Johnson said. “Right now, we just have that inexperience, and we are not capitalizing when we need to. It’s going to happen for us eventually. That’s what we’re gonna use from this, that we got to keep playing and you can’t take anything for granted.”
The Wildcats will return to Big Sky action this coming weekend when they travel to Pocatello, Idaho, to take on Idaho State University. They will play three series away from home, including a matchup in Salt Lake City against the University of Utah, before returning home to host Southern Utah University on April 19.