(Source: Weber State Athletics)
Weber State University senior Jasmine Ioane prepares to bat in a game earlier this season. Ioane had four hits Tuesday in two WSU losses to the University of Utah.

Facing off with in-state rival the University of Utah on Tuesday afternoon, the Weber State University softball team dropped both ends of a doubleheader.

“I’m a little disappointed, but we can learn from it and continue to get better,” said WSU freshman Sara Hingsberger. “Hopefully we can improve in the future.”

Senior Jasmine Ioane racked up four hits, while junior Malia Campos had three hits with two runs scored for the Wildcats. Hingsberger had four RBIs for WSU.

Both teams started out slow in the first game, going three up, three down in the first inning. But the bats picked up in the second inning. After giving up a run in the top of the second, the Wildcats responded with a run of their own in the bottom. After drawing a walk, Krystin Kubo scored off of an RBI single off the bat of Rudi Barrios.

(Source: Weber State Athletics)
Weber State University junior Morgan Allaband winds up for a pitch in a game earlier this season. Allaband pitched three perfect innings against the University of Utah on Tuesday before the Ute bats caught up to her in the fourth inning of a 9-4 loss.

The Utes exploded in the top of the third inning, scoring four runs. The Wildcats committed two throwing errors, which turned ground-outs into base runners. The lone Ute hit came from first baseman Bridget Castro.

“We need to clean up our game,” said WSU head coach Mary Kay Amicone. “We need to be more fundamentally sound. We need to be more consistent with our pitching.”

The Wildcats added a run in the bottom of the third off of an RBI single by Hingsberger. The Wildcats looked poised to add more runs, but a tough double play ended their rally. The score after three innings was 5-2 in favor of the Utes.

The Utes added a run in the fifth inning and three in the seventh, including a two-RBI single off of the bat of Kate Dickman. The Utes took the first game 9-2.

“You have to be more consistent throughout the game, and we aren’t there yet,” Amicone said. “We need to learn that. Right now, it’s trying to learn from one another’s experience and trying to put it together.”

(Source: Weber State Athletics)
Weber State University sophomore Alyson Kulp stands on first base in a game earlier this season. The Wildcats dropped both games of a doubleheader to the University of Utah on Tuesday.

The Wildcats started out red hot during the second game. Their first four batters all reached base on hits. Campos led off with a single. After an infield hit that moved Campos into scoring position, she was driven in on an RBI single from Jasmine Ioane.

Hingsberger continued her stretch, hitting another home run, this one a three-run shot into left center. The Wildcats owned a 4-0 lead after one inning.

Hingsberger said she wasn’t sure why she has been able to hit the deep ball multiple times early on in the season. She is just trusting what her coaches are telling her.

“I think it’s just the process I’ve learned since I’ve been here,” Hingsberger said. “I can see the ball a lot better. You just have to come up with a relaxed approach.”

WSU held the Utes hitless through three innings, but in the fourth they put a run together. Leadoff hitter Hannah Flippen hit an infield single. After advancing to third, she was driven in on a sacrifice fly. Two more RBI singles brought the Utes to within one run.

The Utes continued their hitting streak in the fifth inning, getting three runs on four hits. The Utes took a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Utes then held the Wildcats hitless for three innings, but WSU strung together a few hits in the bottom of the sixth inning. After placing runners on first and second base, the Wildcats couldn’t get another hit to get the runners across. The Utes won the second game 9-4.

After starting out the season 17-10, the Wildcats are just 2-9 in their last 11 games. They will have a layoff for a week before returning to the diamond, where they will be looking to regain their early-season mojo.

“We just need to play again and just have more fun and not put so much pressure on ourselves,” Hingsberger said.

The Wildcats will face Utah State University in Logan on April 15. They will have their final home games of the season April 25, 26 and 30 before ending their season on the road May 3.

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