OGDEN – The Wildcats are looking forward to the opportunity to make some postseason noise.
Despite the disappointment of coming up just short in its quest for a third consecutive Big Sky Conference tournament title, the Weber State University softball team will continue its season in the National Invitational Softball Championship, presented by Triple Crown Sports, where the Wildcats are hosting one of six three-day regionals.
Weber State (33-19-1) opens up the NISC against Boise State (30-18) at 4 p.m., while Utah State (32-16) and San Diego (22-22) square off at 1 p.m.
Live stats for all games will be available through WeberStateStats.com, with live video available for free through WatchBigSky.com.
The Wildcats and Broncos are meeting for the third time this season, with Boise State claiming a 7-1 neutral site win in Henderson, Nev., on Feb. 17, and Weber State winning 6-5 in the final game of the SpringHill Suites Classic, hosted by the Broncos at Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho., on March 5. It will be the 14th all-time meeting between the teams, with Boise State leading the series 9-4.
Weber State is making its third straight postseason appearance after advancing to the Louisiana Regional in 2015 and the Washington Regional in 2016 after claiming the Big Sky's automatic berth to the NCAA tournament both years.
This is the first year of the NISC, which features 26 teams spread across six double-elimination regionals. The other regional sites are Stockton, Calif., Normal, Ill., Beaumont, Texas, Atlanta, Ga., and Lynchburg, Va. The six region winners will advance to a six-team championship round.
Freshman right fielder Takesha Saltern continues to lead the Wildcats in batting average at .467, which ranks No. 4 nationally, while she has 85 hits, which ranks No. 3 nationally. Of those 85 hits, nine are triples, which ranks No. 2 nationally. Those big numbers are a large part of why Saltern is a one of the Top 10 finalists for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year. Saltern's 85 hits is a new single-season record at Weber State, while her batting average is currently on pace to set a new single-season record. Her nine triples are a new Weber State individual career record.
Saltern, junior right-hander Kirtlyn Bohling (19-12, 2.56 ERA), and senior first baseman Sara Hingsberger (.337, 56 hits, 48 RBI) were named First Team All-Big Sky Conference, and were named to the All-Big Sky Tournament team after helping the Wildcats to a second-place finish.
NISC Regional Schedule
Game 1 – Utah State vs. San Diego, 1 p.m.
Game 2 – Boise State vs. Weber State, 4 p.m.
Game 3 – Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 10 a.m., loser eliminated
Game 4 – Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 1 p.m.
Game 5 – Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 4 p.m., loser eliminated.
Game 6 – Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 10 a.m.
Game 7 – If necessary (Game 5 winner must win Game 6), 1 p.m.