NAMPA, Idaho – Once the Wildcats finally got their bats untracked, there was no stopping them.
The Weber State University softball team pounded out 23 hits in earning a split during the opening day of the SpringHill Suites Invitational at Northwest Nazarene University’s Halle Field.
The Wildcats dropped a tough 5-0 decision to CSUN to open the day, but erupted for a 12-0 five-inning romp over Santa Clara in the second game.
Senior catcher Riana Splinter and senior third baseman KyRae Kogianes led the hits parade against the Broncos, with each recording three. The Wildcats had a season-high 16 hits against Santa Clara, and turned an incredible four double plays in five innings, doing so in the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings. It is tied for the third-most double plays in a single game in NCAA softball history.
After three scoreless innings, including leaving the bases loaded in the third, Weber State’s offense broke through in the fourth when freshman outfielder Takesha Saltern, the reigning Big Sky Conference Player of the Week, smashed a two-out bases loaded triple that made it 3-0, and freshman outfielder Landi Hawker followed that up with an RBI single to make it 4-0 at the end of the fourth.
It turned out to be just the start for the Wildcats, who ripped off eight runs in the fifth to make it 8-0. One sequence in the inning turned into an “Idaho Triple” as Weber State’s three Boise area players notched RBI hits in three consecutive at-bats. Seniors Mackenzi Corta and Sara Hingsberger are from Eagle and freshman Courtney Pestka is from Merdian.
In the opening game, the Wildcats equaled the Matadors with seven hits each, but came up scoreless despite having baserunners in five of the seven innings. Corta has three hits in the game, while Saltern had two, including a triple.
Weber State (6-9-1) will be back in action at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday with a rematch with the Matadors, following be a rematch with Santa Clara at 1:30 p.m. The Wildcats will wrap up the tournament on Sunday against Boise State at 11 a.m.