After six weeks of non-conference play, the Weber State softball team opened their Big Sky Conference season this weekend against Portland State University in Oregon.

Defending their Big Sky Tournament Championship title, the Wildcats beat out the Vikings in a three game series, 2-1.

On March 25, the Wildcats dropped the first game to the Vikings, 0-4. The Wildcats had six hits and eight base-runners, but they were just unable to break across the home plate. All four points scored by the Vikings were off of home runs, including a single home run in the second inning and a three-run homer in the fifth.

The team was quick to put the disappointment behind them, and came out swinging to win in the second game beating Portland State 5-3.

In the first inning, Portland State scored two runs, but that didn’t stop the Wildcats. They overcame the two-point deficit by scoring one run in the third inning, three in the fifth and one in the seventh.

Senior shortstop Aubrey Whitmer had three RBIs in those crucial scoring innings that was a major key in the success for the Wildcat win.

Junior KyRae Kogianes, catcher, went 1-for-1, walking twice as a leadoff batter and had an RBI in the fifth inning allowing one of the three points to be scored. Senior third baseman Alyson Kulp capitalized on a wild pitch from the Vikings and made it home to bring the score to 5-3.

Portland State tried to get back in the game in the seventh inning, loading the bases, but sophomore Bailey Seek concluded the game with a strikeout.

On March 26, the Wildcats rolled past the Vikings in the final game of the series, 10-2.

Freshman outfielder JaeCie Wilson started the game with a single, following a double from Kulp. Whitmer hit an RBI, allowing Wilson to score on the third hit of the game. Kogianes then had a two RBI hit to make it 3-0 before the first out of the inning was recorded.

Senior first baseman Krystin Kubo had a two-out RBI that allowed Kogianes to score. Eight of WSU’s nine batters were sent to the plate in the first inning of the game.

After earning three quick outs at the bottom of the first inning, the Wildcats were back up to bat. Sophomore catcher Molly Horne capitalized on a bases-loaded RBI that brought the score to 5-0.

Kubo and sophomore second baseman McKinley Brinkerhoff both scored in the third inning. After two scoreless innings, Weber State’s Kogaines scored on a Kubo single RBI in the sixth inning.

The Vikings answered with two scored points in the bottom of the sixth to cut the WSU lead to 8-2.

The Wildcats loaded the bases to start the seventh inning. Whitmer sacrificed an RBI to make it 9-2 while Kogaines’s hit brought Wilson home for the final run of the game.

The Wildcats are now 2-1 in conference play, 18-12 overall. On March 29, Weber State Softball will take on Utah in Salt Lake City. On April 1, the Wildcats will have their season home opener against Northern Colorado at 2:00 p.m. at the Wildcat Softball Field.

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