After getting off to a tough start to its Big Sky Conference season, the Weber State University softball team looked to right the ship Friday as it hosted a doubleheader against Idaho State University. The Wildcats won the first game against the Bengals, but fell in the second game.
“I feel like we played a lot better and we had a lot of energy today,” said WSU freshman Sara Hingsberger. “We stayed consistent throughout the whole game. I thought we played really good today.”
During the first game, in the first inning, WSU senior Jasmine Ioane started out shaky, walking the first two batters she faced. She then got a ground-out double play that got her on track.
Neither team made much noise early. After two innings, neither team had any hits.
That changed in the top of the third inning. Leadoff hitter Katee Wiley hit a double down the right-field line. Wiley was then put into scoring position on a single down the middle. With two runners on, Ioane clamped down, getting two pop flies to finish the inning unscathed.
“We did play good defense today,” said WSU head coach Mary Kay Amicone. “We’ve been working hard on it and we are focused on it. It paid off today.”
The Wildcats got on the board in the bottom of the inning. Sophomore Mylee Davis smacked a pitch over the center-field wall, giving WSU a 1-0 lead. That got the ball rolling for the Wildcats. After singles from freshman Katelyn Robinson and junior Malia Campos, Robinson scored on a wild throw. The Wildcats took a 2-0 lead into the fourth.
After holding the Bengals scoreless in the top of the sixth inning, the Wildcats added to their lead. After two hits to lead off the inning, singles by Alyson Kulp and Brooke Silva, they were driven home on a three-run shot over the left-field wall off of the bat of Hingsberger.
The Wildcats held the Bengals scoreless in the seventh inning to get the 5-0 win.
“I felt like we played a lot better,” Amicone said. “We were a lot more focused and loose and ready to play. We shut them out the first game. Jasmine threw a really good game and we hit behind her. I just felt like our approach was better than it has been.”
The Bengals got on the board first in the second game. Freshman Kacie Burnett hit a double down the left-field line. She was driven in on a double by senior Terah Blackwell that just missed clearing the left-field fence.
WSU pitcher MaCauley Flint found herself in trouble in the top of the third inning. After giving up an infield single, Flint walked two batters to load the bases. After another walk that brought in a run, Morgan Allaband replaced Flint. The Bengals didn’t lose a step, driving in two more runs on a double to center field. A fielder’s choice brought in another run. ISU took a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the third.
The Wildcats rallied in the bottom of the inning, getting runs of their own. After getting two outs to lead off, WSU had a walk and two infield singles that loaded the bases. The Wildcats then drew three run-scoring walks, bringing the score to 5-3 at the end of three.
The Bengals added two runs in the top of the fourth inning to bring their lead back to four. The Wildcats had one run in the fourth to close to within three.
The Bengals added four runs in the fifth inning, all but closing the deal on the Wildcats. ISU picked up the 11-5 win.
The Wildcats had 12 hits to the Bengals’ 13, but they couldn’t string together hits to get their base runners across.
“If you look at the hits, we were hitting with them,” Amicone said. “We just need timely hitting to come through. Tomorrow we want to put those things together to try and win the series.”
The Wildcats also had a Saturday game against the Bengals. That game will be covered in the Wednesday edition of The Signpost and on www.wsusignpost.com.