OGDEN -- Battling the elements as well as their in-state rivals, the Wildcats came up short of snagging a victory in their home finale on Saturday afternoon.
Despite outhitting Southern Utah, the Weber State softball team fell 7-2 to the Thunderbirds in a soggy, rain-soaked affair at Wildcat Softball Field.
With a passing rain storm and wet grounds delaying the first pitch by 45 minutes, the afternoon also saw a 42-minute rain delay in the top of the fourth inning as grounds crew battled to keep the infield playable.
Center fielder London Clarke, the 'Cats' lone senior, was honored by the team and her parents, Doug and Roberta, threw a ceremonial first pitch. Clarke, a native of North Ogden, reached base in all four of her trips to the plate on the afternoon.
Freshman right fielder Dusti Blair sang the national anthem prior to the first pitch, before heading to the outfield where she recorded a career-high five putouts.
Junior shortstop Brooke Silva and junior catcher Desiree Mejia each had two hits, with Mejia smashing her fifth double of the season in the sixth inning.
Freshman third baseman Alyson Kulp, freshman first baseman Krystin Kubo, junior right-hander Morgan Allaband and freshman left fielder Rudi Barrios each tallied hits for the Wildcats.
"We hit the ball hard, but we hit it right at them and they made the plays to stop us from scoring," Weber State coach Tina Johnson said. "London played well all weekend, it's unfortunate that we couldn't bust through to have a chance at postseason play and extend her playing career."
WSU had a prime chance to take its first lead of the series in the first inning, with two runners on base, but wasn't able to push them across and Southern Utah took a 3-0 lead on a home run by Ariel Morbeck in the second inning.
With rapidly increasing rain falling in the fourth inning, the Wildcats struggled from the mound and as three runs scored on three wild pitches, while WSU also issued two walks and hit a batter before play was finally suspended for 42 minutes. After play was restarted, Weber State closed down the inning with a 9-2-5 double play to end the inning.
The Wildcats were finally able to jump-start their offense in bottom half of the inning as Silva, Kubo and Mejia each single to load up the bases, before Allaband hit a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Silva. Barrios singled up the middle in the next at-bat to score Kubo, but Weber State could get no closer over the final three innings.
The Wildcats are now off for 10 days, having their bye from Big Sky Conference play next weekend, and will return to action on April 30 in a non-conference doubleheader at Utah Valley, before wrapping up their 2013 season on May 4-5 against Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo.
Track and field
* HARDY, HENRY SPARKLE: Mike Hardy and Amber Henry headlined another strong week for the Weber State's track and field teams. While most of the team was competing in wet and rainy Logan, some of the distance runners were setting records at the Mt. Sac relays in Walnut, Calif.
Henry set a school record in the women's 1,500 meters with a time of 4:16.07. That school record is the eighth best time in the nation in the event. Meanwhile, Hardy ran a 14:03.34 men's 5,000 meters, putting him in third in the top 10 list at WSU in the event.
Henry's 1,500-meter run was highly contested, with ten sections at Mt. Sac.
Henry was the women's team's only qualifier while the men's team had two qualifiers over the weekend. Rainy conditions the Mark Faldmo Invitational at USU a difficult meet to set qualifying marks in.
Hardy's time in the 5,000 qualified him for the Big Sky meet in Portland May 8-11. The other men's qualifier was Trevor Ricks who ran a 14:33.50 time in the same event.
At Utah State, Dustin Durfee edged teammate Isaac Akers to win the 400-meter hurdles in what was an exciting photo finish with a time of 52.75.
The men had 7 seasonal bests over the weekend.
"It was rough in Logan with the rain and wind and cold weather," men's coach Dan Walker said. "It wasn't real conducive to great marks, but our kids worked hard and competed. Hopefully we'll have some nice additions when we go compete in Provo."
Britlie Silvester set a new freshman record for the Wildcat women. Silvester had a hammer throw of 165-02.00, making her the only freshman to do so in school history.
Others came close to qualifying, but fell just short. Kiersten Watkins was two-tenths of a second short of qualifying for the conference meet in the 100-meter hurdles while Amanda Alston also fell just short in the 400-meter dash.
Coach Jim Blaisdell's women did improve over the weekend, picking up 17 seasonal bests between the two meets.
The Wildcats will compete Friday and Saturday at the BYU Robison Invitational.