GREELEY, Colo. – After a disappointing finish to the first game, the Wildcats came back swinging to earn a split against the Bears.
The Weber State University softball team opened its three-game Big Sky Conference series with Northern Colorado with a heart-breaking 4-3 setback in eight innings, before bouncing back in resounding fashion for an 8-0 win in five innings at Gloria Rodriguez Field.
The Wildcats improved to 5-2 in Big Sky play (21-12-1 overall) with the game two win, and remain one-half game ahead of Montana at the top of the league standings. The Bears fell to 3-5 in Big Sky play, 15-24 overall.
Sophomore right-hander Tatiana Su'esu'e (9-3) picked up the game two win, scattering four hits and with a strikeout and throwing just 68 pitches in earning her first complete-game shutout of the year.
The Wildcats trailed for much of the opening game before taking a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning behind an RBI from senior designated player Mackenzi Corta and an RBI single from junior catcher Molly Horne.
Weber State extended its lead to 3-1 on an RBI double from sophomore second baseman Sadie Blacker, but Northern Colorado tied the game at 3-3 with a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh that forced extra innings, and then scored the walk-off run in the bottom of the eight.
Junior right-hander Kirtlyn Bohling had seven strikeouts in the game.
In the second game, the Wildcats came out charging, taking a 2-0 lead in Sara Hingsberger’s two-run homer in the first inning.
Hingsberger led off the third inning with a walk, stole second, and then scored on an RBI single from junior outfielder Rae Gall to make it 3-0. Senior Riana Splinter made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the next at-bat that scored Gall.
Leading 4-0, the Wildcats took advantage of a three-error inning by the Bears to plate four runs in the fourth inning to push the lead to 8-0, and Su'esu'e only allowed one hit the rest of the way, striking out Northern Colorado’s final batter for the win.
Weber State and Northern Colorado will meet for the rubber match game three at 1 p.m. on Saturday.