Tuesday , May 16, 2017 - 9:15 PM
OGDEN — The Weber State softball team held off a furious comeback from Boise State on Tuesday evening to win its first-ever postseason tournament game, winning 19-10 in the first round of the new National Invitational Softball Championship.
At 3 hours and 16 minutes, the marathon was the longest regulation game in school history. The Wildcats also set school records in runs scored and total hits with 19.
Junior catcher Molly Horne went 3 for 3 at the plate with six RBIs, including a two-run homer at the top of the third.
“Our team finally got into a groove that we know how to do,” Horne said. “This is a team we’ve been missing. We haven’t been hitting as well. I think we finally relaxed and hit ... We could go somewhere with this ... We’re really hoping to take it to next week.”
KyRae Kogianes, who was 3 of 5 at the plate, had four RBIs and two home runs.
“It felt great because I hadn’t hit (a home run) in a while, so I was ready,” Kogianes said. “I needed it to happen. It felt good that I could help the team out and give extra runs.”
Weber State welcomed the offensive surge after struggling in the Big Sky Conference tournament last week, and now hopes the high-octane game will provide a spark for the rest of the tournament.
After the Wildcats took a 5-3 lead after three innings, the bats really started to ping for the Wildcats at the top of the fourth.
A walk with the bases loaded added a run, then Horne delivered a two RBI single to left field.
Kogianes then blasted a three-run homer to left field to make the score 11-3.
The game appeared to be all but over, but the Broncos started to slowly chip away at the seemingly insurmountable eight-run deficit.
It started with one run in the bottom of the fourth, then two runs in the fifth. Then, after a home run at the top of the sixth from Kogianes made WSU’s lead 12-6, Boise State tallied four runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it 12-10.
“I credit Boise State for keeping the pedal down,” WSU head coach Mary Kay Amicone said. “They were into it. They were playing like they should be. It’s the postseason and you want to be the undefeated team. They kept the pressure on and they did a good job, and we had to answer.”
Weber State slammed the door on the comeback with seven runs in the top of the seventh.
Two runs came as the result of walks with the bases loaded, and Sara Hingsberger, Mackenzi Corta and Sydney White each had an RBI in the inning.
“Those runs in the last inning were super important,” Horne said. “It gave our pitchers a lot of breathing room. They could stick to their corners and trust the defense. That’s huge, especially for us.”
The Wildcats will now face in-state rival Utah State in their game scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday. If weather conditions are as poor as forecasted — with snow and rain — the games will be postponed a day to Thursday and Friday.
UTAH STATE 8, SAN DIEGO 0
Utah State made quick work of San Diego to open the NISC Regional hosted at Weber State, defeating the Toreros in five innings.
The Aggies scored five runs in the second inning to take control.
Kellie White pitched 4 1/3 innings and picked up the win for Utah State.
Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.
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