OGDEN – The Wildcats picked a perfect time for one of their cleanest, high-energy games of the season.
Junior right-hander Tatiana Su'esu'e threw a complete-game three hitter, earning her fourth shutout of the year, as the Weber State University softball team blanked in-state rival Utah State 2-0 to advance to the Region 2 final in the National Invitational Softball Championship at Wildcat Softball Complex.
Weber State (35-19-1) will face Boise State (32-19) at 10 a.m. on Thursday for the Region 2 championship. The Broncos would need to defeat Weber State twice to claim the title, while the Wildcats needs just one win to advance to the NISC championship round.
“Today we played a really clean, solid game,” Weber State coach Mary Kay Amicone said. “Tatiana was outstanding. I loved her focus and fire. Our defense played really well behind her, and we scored early in the game so we could settle in. Our team played with a lot of energy and it was a fun game.”
Freshman right fielder Takesha Saltern was 2-for-3 at the plate for the Wildcats, with the second of those giving her 88 hits this year. The 88 hits is a new Big Sky Conference single-season record, moving her past Idaho State's Kacie Burnett, who had set the previous record during her freshman season.
In her eighth complete-game of the season, Su'esu'e allowed just three hits and one walk against four strikeouts, and improved to 15-5 overall.
Senior catcher Riana Splinter walked to lead off the second inning, with senior Katelyn Robinson replacing her as a pinch runner. Senior designated player Mackenzi Corta hit an 0-2 single to right field. Senior third baseman KyRae Kogianes reached on a fielder's choice, with a Utah State throwing error scoring Robinson and advancing Kogianes to second for a 1-0 lead.
Sophomore second baseman Sadie Blacker smacked an RBI single to center field that scored Kogianes for a 2-0 lead, and that would be all the scoring the game for either team as the Su'esu'e and the Wildcat defense settled in and carried the game to the finish line.