NAMPA, Idaho – It was an up-and-down day for the Wildcats in Idaho.
The Weber State University softball team split two games during the second day of the SpringHill Suites Invitational, rallying for dramatic 14-11 walk-off win in nine innings against CSUN, before coming up short against Santa Clara in a 7-4 loss at Northwest Nazarene’s Halle Field.
The game with the Matadors, which saw three lead changes, ended as senior Riana Splinter smashed a towering two-out, three-run shot over the fence at center field to give the Wildcats their first walk-off win of the year.
CSUN took a 4-0 lead in the second inning, but it didn’t last long as junior second baseman McKinley Brinkerhoff blasted her first career grand slam in the bottom half of the inning to tie things up at 4-4.
Brinkerhoff was 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored, and also had five putouts and two assists against the Matadors’ powerful offense.
CSUN regained a 6-4 lead in the third, and took a 7-4 lead in the fourth, but the Wildcats came roaring back.
Senior Mackenzi Corta singled to lead off the fifth and eventually scored on Molly Horne’s RBI double down the left field line, tying the game at 7-7. Weber State took the lead when Kogianes hit an RBI single to right field that scored senior Katelyn Robinson, pinch-running for Horne, to make it 8-7.
The Matadors tied things up at 8-8 on a leadoff home run in the sixth, and that would be the last of the scoring until the wild ninth-inning.
CSUN took an 11-8 lead, scoring two runs on a home run, but the Wildcats came roaring back.
Freshman outfielder Takesha Saltern was plunked with the bases loaded to make it 11-9, and Corta had an RBI fielder’s choice that made it 11-10 before senior Sara Hingsberger’s two-out RBI single to left center tied it up at 11.
Enter Splinter, as a pinch-hitter, who smashed an 0-1 pitch to plate the walkoff runs.
In the second half, the Wildcats fell behind 4-0 early and were never quite able to make a comeback, despite getting within 4-3 after two innings.
Rae Gall was 3-for-4 in the game with a run scored, but the Wildcats stranded 10 baserunners in the loss.
Weber State will wrap up the three-day tournament against host Boise State on Sunday at 11 a.m.