Friday , May 12, 2017 - 8:12 PM
Montana sophomore Sydney Stites crushed a 3-0 pitch to left field in the top of the 10th, a home run which proved to be decisive.
With the game tied 1-1 and the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Weber State’s Mackenzi Corta grounded to third base. The throw to first was close as Corta made it to the bag, but to the dismay of WSU fans and coaches, she was called out, sending the game to extra innings.
“I thought she was safe. I saw the game over,” WSU head coach Mary Kay Amicone said of the play. “That was that. We don’t control it. That’s part of the game. That’s what I saw.”
The Wildcats will now face Idaho State in the loser’s bracket at 11 a.m. Saturday. The winner will advance to face Montana and would have to beat the Griz at 1:30 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. to win the championship.
Despite the controversy, the Wildcats put themselves in position to win several times in the three extra innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, Molly Horne popped a fly ball to center field, but pinch runner JaeCie Wilson was off to the races attempting to steal second. Montana doubled her up at first to clear the bases.
On the next at-bat, KyRae Kogianes tripled.
While the winning run on third still put pressure on the Griz, Sadie Blacker grounded out to end the inning.
In the end, Weber State left four runners stranded in extra innings.
“We had many opportunities to win the game,” Amicone said. “We’ve got to be better in situational hitting. That’s what tomorrow’s about. Picking it up right now emotionally and physically so that we come through that side of the bracket. That’s what’s important right now — is to learn how each one of us can do better.”
Montana threatened to take a big lead early, scoring in the first inning on an RBI single from Stites. The Grizzlies later loaded the bases, but WSU pitcher Kirtlyn Bohling struck out Alex Wardlow to end the inning.
Bohling went the distance, spreading 14 hits across 10 innings and keeping Montana at bay until one swing from Stites changed the game.
Kogianes tripled with two outs in the second inning and scored on an error for Weber’s only run of the game.
The Wildcats have scored two runs, both unearned, in 17 tournament innings.
Weber State missed another opportunity in the sixth when Corta and Sara Hingsberger reached with no outs. Courtney Pestka bunted to advance the runners, but Montana catcher Madison Saacke threw out Hingsberger at third and the Griz turned the double play, getting Corta at second.
Sacramento State 15, Southern Utah 0
Idaho State 4, North Dakota 1
Montana 2, Weber State 1
Idaho State 9, Sacramento State 7
Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.
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