On Saturday morning, the Weber State University softball team looked primed to break out against the University of Northern Colorado. After an eruption of early runs, the Wildcats were unable to hold off the surge of the Bears and fell in the finale of the three-game series, 10-9. The loss dropped their record to 18-15 overall, 1-5 in Big Sky Conference play.
“I think it’s a tough loss. We are working hard every day to get better,” said WSU head coach Mary Kay Amicone. “It is tough to end the game like that, but we have to keep fighting and get better.”
The Wildcats fell behind in the first inning as the Bears hit a home run, but the Wildcats responded by scoring in the bottom of the first. It started with a sacrifice fly by Brooke Silva, which tied the game at one apiece. Jasmine Ioane, Alyson Kulp and Brooke Ford all provided hits that brought more Wildcats across the plate. After one inning, the Wildcats led 4-1, but the game was far from over.
In the second inning, the Wildcats added two more runs on a shot up the middle from Silva. Ioane then hit a triple to right field to give WSU a commanding 6-1 lead. That the Bears to go to the bullpen, a change that affected the outcome of the game.
“They made a pitching change, and it ended up in their favor,” Amicone said. “We know that we are a good team and just have to get those key hits to win games.”
After exchanging runs in the third and fourth innings, the Wildcats headed into the sixth holding with a slight 7-5 advantage. But the Bears’ offense scored five runs in the top of that frame, which included a three-run blast that gave them a commanding 10-7 lead.
The Wildcats put on their rally caps and tried to recover from the scoring barrage from the Bears. The Bears made some costly errors in the bottom of the seventh, as Katelyn Robinson was able to put herself into scoring position after two errors. Janel Cunningham brought her home with a ground-out to the shortstop. But that was it for the rally when the Wildcats grounded out to end the game.
Ioane, who had a good day at the plate with two hits and two RBIs, was charged with the loss from the mound. After their outstanding start to the game, the Wildcats’ energy dipped low as the Bears started to get themselves into the game.
“I felt like that our energy was good at the first, but it got tougher as the game got going,” Ioane said. “It seemed like we put some pressure on ourselves, and that is when errors and pitches weren’t going our way.”
The Wildcats will take on in-state rival the University of Utah for a doubleheader on Wednesday. The first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Wildcat Softball Complex.