OGDEN – The Wildcats made all sorts of history on Tuesday afternoon.
In battle between two of the nation's top hitting teams, the Weber State University softball team downed Boise State 19-10 in the National Invitational Softball Championship at Wildcat Softball Complex, and in doing so became the first team in Big Sky Conference softball history to win a postseason game.
And that wasn't the only record that fell during the marathon game, which lasted for three hours and 16 minutes, a new WSU record for a regulation-length game.
Weber State finished the game with a school record 19 hits, breaking the previous record of 18 set last year against Southern Utah, and tied the school record of 19 runs, also set against Boise State during a 19-10 win in nine innings in Boise, Idaho, during the 2015 season.
The Wildcats improved to 34-19-1 overall, and will take on in-state rival Utah State (33-16) at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, with the winner advancing to the Regional championship game on Thursday morning. Boise State (30-19) will face San Diego (22-23) at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, with the winner advancing to meet the loser of the WSU-USU game at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
Weber State entered Tuesday's game ranked 12th nationally in team batting average at .321, while Boise State ranked 20th at .316.
Six Wildcats had multiple hits against the Broncos, led by junior catcher Molly Horne, who was 3-for-3 with six RBI, two runs scored, and a walk. Horne smacked her second home run of the season in the third inning, a two-run shot that gave the Wildcats a lead they would never relinquish.
Senior third baseman KyRae Kogianes was 3-for-5 with two home runs, including a three-run shot down the left field line in the fourth inning that gave Weber State an 11-3 lead and a solo shot in the sixth.
Weber State, which entered the day with just three home runs at home this season, had five extra base hits, including the three over the fence, and doubles from senior first baseman Sara Hingsberger and freshman shortstop Sydney White.
Hingsberger was 3-for-4 with two RBI and four runs scored, while White was 3-for-5 with two RBI. Senior designated player Mackenzi Corta and freshman center fielder Landi Hawker each had two hits, while freshman right fielder Takesha Saltern extended single-season school record to 86 hits.
“It was great to see our offense score throughout the game,” Weber State coach Mary Kay Amicone said. “I was really happy to see multiple hit games by several hitters. It wasn't the prettiest win, but it was a hard-fought win. It's a quick turnaround from the Big Sky Tournament for our pitchers, so I'm really happy our offense supported them.”
Junior right-hander Kirtlyn Bohling earned the win in the circle, becoming the first 20-game winner in school history, as she improved to 20-12 overall.
Weber State, batting first as the designated visitor, scored on a first-inning wild pitch to take a 1-0 lead and an RBI single from Horne to make it 2-0.
Boise State scored three during a six hit, double-error second inning to take a 3-2 lead, but the Wildcats came right back with three runs of their own in the top of the third to regain the lead.
Weber State's offense erupted again in the fourth for a six-run inning and an 11-3 lead, but the Broncos didn't go away quietly, as they scored seven runs over the next three innings to cut the Wildcat lead to 12-10 heading into the seventh.
A single to center field from White, a walk by Saltern, and a bunt single from Hawker to start off the seventh, and suddenly the Wildcats were poised for a big inning of their own, which they delivered with five hits, three walks, and seven runs scored, to take a 19-10 lead.