OGDEN, Utah – Behind a solid performance from senior right-hander/designated player Jasmine Ioane, the Wildcats shut down their arch-rivals and earned a split.
With Ioane throwing six-innings of a shutout, the Weber State University softball team blanked Idaho State 5-0 in the opening game of a Big Sky Conference series at Wildcat Softball Complex on Friday afternoon. The Bengals bounced back in the end-cap to even the day with an 11-5 victory.
The series decider is set for Noon on Saturday at Wildcat Softball Complex.
Weber State (2-6 Big Sky, 19-16 overall) moved within one victory of its second 20-win season since restarting its softball program in 2010. Idaho State is now 3-2 in Big Sky play, 20-15 overall.
Freshman second baseman Mackenzi Corta was one of three Wildcats to get three hits during the two games, joining sophomore third baseman Alyson Kulp and senior shortstop Brooke Silva. Freshman right fielder Sara Hingsberger had two hits, including a key three-run homer in the sixth inning that blew open a 2-0 Wildcat lead.
Weber State took a 1-0 lead in first game when junior catcher Mylee Davis hit a solo shot over the fence at center field, and then made it 2-0 lead in the inning when freshman left fielder Katelyn Robinson stole home after the Bengals’ catcher attempted to catch junior center fielder Malia Campos stealing second.
The Bengals got into scoring position in the fifth and sixth, leaving two runners on in both innings, but the Wildcats shut them down both times.
Kulp and Silva each singled in the sixth, with Hingsberger’s three-run shot over left center making it 5-0 and junior right-hander MaCauley Flint put Idaho State down in order in the seventh, ending the game on a strikeout.
Idaho State took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the second game, opening the inning with a double down the right field line.
Campos led off the Wildcats’ half of the inning with a triple, but ended up stranded on third after the next three batters went down in order. Idaho State scored four times in the top of the third to make it 5-0, but Weber State brought three of those runs back in their half of the inning after the Bengals walked Hingsberger with the bases loaded and then hit sophomore first baseman Krystin Kubo and Davis in consecutive at-bats to walk in two more runs, making it 5-3.
ISU made it 7-3 with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, but Corta led off the bottom of the inning with a triple and scored after Kulp singled to left field.
The Bengals tacked on four more runs in the fifth, flirting with a potential run-rule as they pushed the lead to 11-4 before junior Kylee Hogue, pinch hitting for Davis, hit an RBI double to center field that scored junior pinch runner Brooke Boggess and made it 11-5.
The Wildcats fought to close the gap further, but stranded five base runners in the final three innings.