WSU softball finishes weekend 3-1

(Source: Weber State Athletics)
Weber State University sophomore Alyson Kulp awaits a pitch in a game earlier this season. Kulp batted 6-14 last week, including three home runs as the Wildcats put together a three-win weekend.

After a week off, the Weber State University softball team returned to the diamond at the Eller Media Stadium Classic, hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The Wildcats went 3-1, picking up wins over New Mexico State University, Seton Hall University and UNLV. These wins brought their overall record to 9-5.

“It was a very good weekend for the Wildcat softball program,” said WSU head coach Mary Kay Amicone. “I’m really proud of our effort and continuous fight. Improvements are happening each game.”

The Wildcats entered the week hoping to improve and get ready for their conference season.

“The bye weekend helped us get healthy and ready to go again,” said Amicone earlier this week. “We play very strong competition this weekend and look forward to getting better.”

The Wildcats started out strong, knocking off NMSU 5-3. The win put the Wildcats three games over .500, the first time that has happened in 32 years.

WSU junior MaCauley Flint pitched a complete game for the Wildcats, giving up just two hits and striking out eight batters. Sophomore Alyson Kulp opened up the scoring in the third inning, hitting a two-run shot over the fence.

Two more runs scored in the fifth inning. Kulp laid down a sacrifice bunt and the catcher overthrew first base, allowing both base runners to score.

After facing a rain delay that ended their game Friday, the Wildcats restarted their second game Saturday against DePaul University. The Wildcats fell behind quickly and lost 14-3 in five innings.

The Wildcats started well, scoring all three of their runs in the first inning. After Kulp hit an RBI triple, she was driven in on a two-run home run off of the bat of senior Jasmine Ioane.

However, DU scored three runs in the bottom of the first, then five runs in the third inning. After rain delayed the game until the following morning, the Blue Demons added six runs in the fourth. The game was called due to the 10-run rule after five innings.

The Wildcats answered back later in the day, getting a 7-2 win over SHU. Flint again took the mound, striking out 10 batters with just five hits.

The Wildcats had a season-high 15 hits, including a two-run home run from freshman Katelyn Robinson. Senior Brooke Silva was 4-4 and Kulp added a two-run shot of her own.

“I wasn’t trying to think too much while I was at the plate,” Kulp said. “I was focused on one pitch and thinking, ‘Just a base hit.’ My main focus was to get the runners in or advance them to score runs.”

In the final game Sunday, the Wildcats got a 5-1 victory over UNLV. Flint returned to the mound and pitched her third complete game, giving up three hits and picking up five strikeouts.

Kulp again had a strong outing, going 2-4 with four RBIs. In the third inning, Kulp hit a three-run shot.

“Aly Kulp was seeing the ball well all weekend,” Amicone said. “MaCauley threw great and we played solid behind her.”

In 21 innings pitched, Flint had 23 strikeouts and just 10 hits with an ERA of just 1.67. Over four games, Kulp finished batting .429 with five runs scored and eight runs batted in, including three home runs.

The Wildcats will return to action this weekend as they travel to Boise, Idaho. They will have doubleheaders against Valparaiso University and the University of Indiana on Friday and Saturday. They will finish their five-game weekend Sunday against Boise State University.

The Wildcats will begin their home season on March 19 against Utah Valley University.