By Idaho State Athletics
After 33 games on the road the Idaho State softball team made its long awaited debut at Miller Ranch Stadium against Big Sky Conference leader Weber State. The Bengals gave the 400 plus fans in attendance an exciting show. ISU rallied to beat the Wildcats 7-5 in game 1 and then earned an 8-0 five-inning win in game two of the series.
“When you take two games from a team that is very good and has been playing very well and 6-0, the thought is nice,” Idaho State coach Julie Wright said. “I was really pleased. I thought we played two complete games on the mound, offensively and defensively. I was really pleased with our overall effort.”
Idaho State improved to 22-13 and 7-1 in Big Sky play while Weber State dropped to 25-13 and 6-2 in conference.
ISU was led by the play of junior center fielder Katelyn Marquez. Marquez finished the two games going 5-6 with a triple, two RBIs while scoring two runs. She was also stellar in center field coming up with two great catches, one being an over the shoulder grab in game 1.
“She had a great day and two outstanding catches,” Wright said. “That is what you need from your center fielder. She got on base and she made plays.”
Vicky Galasso, Gabby Lopez, Micheala Taylor, Maddy Hickman and Hailey Breakwell all tallied two hits. Galasso, Hickman and Dara Kolar each finished with a home run.
Ashlyn Ames earned the win in the second game by tossing a five-inning complete game shutout, allowing only two hits while striking out five. Ames also came up with the hit in the bottom of the fifth that ended the game.
“Ashlyn Ames is an outstanding young player,” Wright said. “What she did against a very good offensive team was awesome. I was pleased as I could be for her. Then for her to come in and get the solidifying hit, which I felt like she could do; it was a great day for her.”
Sophie Slagle went the distance in game 1, scattering six hits, allowing five runs and striking out three.
“Sophie competes and she is really good at that,” Wright said. “She is going to deliver when we need it the most. In pressure situations is when she is at her best.”
Idaho State 7 Weber State 5
The Bengals had to rally twice in the first game of the day to come out with the victory. Weber State scored three runs in the top of the first inning but the Bengals countered with four runs in the bottom half of the inning. ISU also took advantage of two Weber State errors in the inning.
The offense started with Burnett walking and Gabby Lopez singling to center field. Galasso then reached base on an error and Breakwell followed with a two RBI single. Later in the inning, Marquez had a two-out RBI single to plate the final two runs.
Weber State scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning but the Bengals once again rallied with a three run sixth inning. Weber State loaded the bases in the sixth by walking Galasso, the 2013 Big Sky MVP, setting the stage for a two RBI single to right field by Breakwell, the conference MVP.
Slagle retired the side in the seventh to seal the victory.
Idaho State 8 Weber State 0 (5)
ISU scored quickly with a two-run home run by Galasso in the first inning.
“She is incredible,” Wright said. “You just can’t get her out. The kid is so good. It is not just about her ability. She is so good mentally. She is relaxed and plays the game well. It is really hard to trust and she does it better than anybody.”
The Bengals added four runs in the fourth, with three coming on a three-run homer by Kolar. Galasso also had an RBI single in the inning.
In the fifth inning Hickman hit a homer off the scoreboard in right field and Ames tallied the game-ending RBI that scored Taylor.
The series concludesSaturdayat 1 p.m. at Miller Ranch Stadium.All games are free to the public. Immediately followingSaturday’s game there will be an Easter Egg hunt for all elementary school aged children and younger.