OGDEN, Utah - The Weber State University softball team wrapped up its final pre-conference schedule by splitting a twinbill with the University of Nevada on Thursday afternoon.
The Wildcats rallied from an 0-3 deficit to take a 5-3 victory over the Wolf Pack in the first game of the day, and then fell 7-1 in the second contest at Wildcat Softball Field.
Senior centerfielder Erika Dixon went 3-of-7 at the plate across the two games, with a three RBI triple during the Wildcats' fourth-inning rally in the first contest.
"(Nevada) came out and got ahead right away, and we acted like it didn't even happen," Dixon said. "We came out hitting and came up with the clutch hits when we needed them. It was exciting for our team.
"Our defense played really well today," Dixon said. "There were a few times they were hitting the gaps, and we adjusted and made those plays for our pitcher when she needed it."
Freshman Janel Cunningham, splitting time between catcher and designated player, also had three hits in five at-bats on the afternoon.
Senior right hander Sarah Clark (9-6) earned the first game win, giving up just six hits in going the complete game. The Springville, Utah-native also had two hits and reached base after being hit by a pitch.
"We are right where we want to be," Weber State coach Tina Johnson said. "This team has a good feel right now and we really are doing ok."
Nevada took a 3-0 lead in the first game, scoring runs in the second, third and fourth innings, but Weber State bounced back quickly.
After senior third baseman Lyndsey Minnich reached on an error, the Wildcats found themselves in a difficult spot after it was ruled that freshman Kaitlin Anderson made an illegal appearance in the batting order, where she had replaced Cunningham. After a lengthy conference between the umpires, Anderson was ruled out.
The break, however, jolted the Wildcats' bats to life as sophomore Brooke Silva hit a double and then Clark was hit by a pitch to load the bases with just one out. Freshman Cydnee Clarke was walked on a full count to make it 3-1. After a flyout to left field, London Clarke hit an infield single to bring score Silva and again load the bases, setting the stage for Dixon's left-liner triple to the fence to clear the bases and put Weber State in front 5-3.
The Wildcats' defense stifled the Wolf Pack the rest of the way, holding Nevada to just two hits over the final three innings to secure their 11th win of the season.
Nevada jumped ahead 1-0 in in the second game, and opened up a 6-0 lead after a five-run third inning.
Weber State scored its lone run of the game in the third inning when Minnich hit an RBI single to center field to score Dixon.
The Wildcats will take an 11-18 record into Saturday's PCSC opener at Northern Colorado, the best non-conference record for Weber State since restarting the softball program in 2010.
"We have been waiting for this all year," Dixon said. "We are excited because we are ready. We are going to lay off the pitches that aren't ours, and crush the ones that come into our zone."
First pitch of the four-game series with the Bears is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday in Greeley, Colo.