Weber State blanks Boise to claim NISC regional, advances to championship round

Thursday , May 18, 2017 - 4:08 PM1 comment

BRANDON GARSIDE, Standard-Examiner Staff

> SCHEDULE/BRACKETWeber State softball to face host Liberty to begin NISC championship round


OGDEN — After Boise State forced a second game with a win Thursday morning, Weber State needed only five innings to defeat the Broncos 8-0 in the afternoon rematch to win the Region 2 title and advance to the championship round of the National Invitational Softball Championship.

“We just kept fighting,” WSU head coach Mary Kay Amicone said. “This is what I love about our team. They’re scrappy, gritty, tough and competitive. I think when we got down to some short game stuff, it was really effective. We were able to open up a little bit of cushion to help us breath.”

With two outs in the fifth, freshman Sydney White hit a walk-off RBI to bring home senior Mackenzi Corta for the game-winning run.

“It felt good. I wasn’t worried at all. I thought either way we were going to come out with the win,” White said. “That first loss gave us a gut check. It taught us that we can bounce back.”

Senior Sara Hingsberger hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to set up the Wildcats (36-20-1) for the mercy-rule win.

“It was a great team win,” Hingsberger said. “I feel like even as the year comes to an end, we’re still getting better and better.”

Sophomore pitcher Kirtlyn Bohling pitched to her 21st win of the season, striking out one and allowing only four hits.

“We’re happy to keep winning and win some postseason games. It’s just helping us get better for next year,” Bohling said. “It’s kind of been a couple of rough weeks with the body feeling the innings, but today felt good and I went with it.”

The Wildcats first got on the board in the second inning when Sadie Blacker singled to left field to score Corta.

With two outs, Weber State later loaded the bases in the inning and Hingsberger blasted a shot that came a few feet away from leaving the park, but it was caught for the third out of the inning.

In the fifth, KyRae Kogianes scored when Sydney White bunted and Boise catcher Morgan Lamb dropped the throw home. Later, with White on third, Lamb tried to catch Takesha Saltern stealing second but no Boise fielders were there to catch the throw and White easily ran in for another score.

That’s when Hingsberger stepped up to the plate with runners on second and third, and crushed a three-run homer to give Weber State a 7-0 lead.

“I just feel like we kept trusting our swings,” Hingsberger said. “We may not have been dropping the hits earlier in the game like we wanted to, but we just kept trusting our swings and it paid off. That’s what made the difference.”

Weber State is one of six teams to win their region and advance to the final round set to start Sunday, May 21. The championship round will be hosted by Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Weber State drew the No. 4 seed and will play No. 5 seed and host Liberty at 5 p.m. MDT Sunday.

Joining Weber State and Liberty as regional winners are Cal Poly, Illinois State, Lamar and Kennesaw State.

“I’m not ready to be done,” Hingsberger said. “This is an amazing feeling. I feel like our team is really coming together. It’s a great feeling.”

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at bgarside@standard.net, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.

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