OGDEN – For the second straight year, the Wildcats and Grizzlies will meet on the final day of the season to decide the Big Sky title.
The Weber State University softball suffered a pair of setbacks to Montana on Friday afternoon, including a heart-breaking 4-3 setback in the series' opening game, setting up a winner-take-all showdown at high noon on Saturday at Wildcat Softball Complex.
Weber State dropped to 14-5 in Big Sky play, 30-17-1 overall, and fell one-half game behind Montana (15-5 Big Sky, 32-21 overall) in the race for the Big Sky's regular season title and hosting rights for next weekend's Big Sky championship tournament.
Freshman right fielder Takesha Saltern, who entered the day ranked seventh in the country in batting average, was 4-for-8 with a run scored. Saltern's four hits on the day give her 73 this season, the second-best single-season mark in school history. Her first-inning triple put the Wildcats on the front foot in the opening game as she scored on Riana Splinter's one-out groundout for a 1-0 lead.
Montana's Delene Colburn tied the game up on a solo home run in the second, but the Wildcats immediately regained the lead on Sadie Blacker's RBI single to second base that scored senior third baseman KyRae Kogianes for a 2-1 lead.
The Grizzlies rallied in the seventh, scoring three runs, two of which were unearned, to take a 4-3 lead and the Wildcats were unable to answer in the bottom of the inning.
A three-error first inning put the Wildcats down 5-0 in the second game, and despite 10 hits, Weber State was unable to cut into the lead and fell 9-2.
Junior right-hander Kirtlyn Bohling became Weber State's career strikeout leader in the first inning of the game one, and finished the game with four to give her 277 for her career.