Weber State softball: Bohling bowls over North Dakota for pair of wins

Tuesday , April 10, 2018 - 10:36 PM

OGDEN — Senior pitcher Kirtlyn Bohling put together one of the best performances of her career at Weber State, leading the Wildcats to two wins over North Dakota on Tuesday afternoon to claim the Big Sky Conference series.

Over the two games, Bohling recorded 16 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings.

“I could depend on any pitch for a strike, but I could also control it on the corners,” Bohling said. “Everything felt in control today. It was a good day.”

WEBER STATE 4, NORTH DAKOTA 0

The Wildcats put together a complete game in the series opener with timely hitting that put runs on the board with two outs and a sharp defense that recorded two double plays.

Bohling earned a shutout win inside the circle, throwing a complete game with a career-high 11 strikeouts — including for the game-winning out in the bottom of the seventh.

“Kirty was the real deal,” WSU head coach Mary Kay Amicone said. “She was dialed in and unbelievable. I love to see her on her ‘A’ game, and it was definitely her ‘A’ game.”

As the top of the third looked to be nearing its end, the Wildcats took advantage of a lapse in judgment to get on the board.

With two outs and freshman Ali Belloc on third base, sophomore Landi Hawker grounded to third. UND third baseman Victoria Minor tried to make a play at home, but her throw was too slow and offline.

A pair of wild pitches allowed Hawker to move to third. She was plated when sophomore Ashlyn Visser singled to center field for a 2-0 lead.

Weber State extended its lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth with Visser striking again, this time with an RBI single that brought sophomore Takesha Saltern home. Hawker also tried to score on the play from second but was tagged out after getting caught in a pickle.

Weber State used savvy baserunning to tack on an insurance run in the top of the seventh. With runners on the corners and one out, Saltern intentionally got caught stealing second while Belloc made her way home to make the score 4-0.

WEBER STATE 9, NORTH DAKOTA 6

After an early lead, Weber State was kept honest after an explosive fourth inning from North Dakota in Game 2.

WSU scored in each of the first three innings to build a 5-0 lead, including three runs scored in the top of the second.

With a seemingly comfortable lead, Weber State found itself on its heels in a hurry as North Dakota loaded the bases with no outs. After a base hit broke North Dakota’s drought, starting pitcher Tatiana Su’esu’e was relieved by freshman Kate Donaldson.

Donaldson allowed two hits — including a three-run triple from UND senior Taylor Nadler — and the Hawks gained a 6-5 advantage.

After WSU tied the game in the top of the fifth, Hawker came up big with a two-run single for an 8-6 lead in the top of the sixth.

“As soon as we tied it up I felt like we were in control again,” Bohling said. “We were good from there on out.”

Freshman Chloe Camarero added another run as she reached on a fielder’s choice that brought in Hawker.

Bohling relieved Donaldson in the fifth and struck out five batters in 1 2/3 innings to earn the save.

“I loved the way we answered back,” Amicone said. “The way we got back on top after giving up the lead for just a hair says a lot about our team.”

The games began a series moved from North Dakota to Ogden, with the Hawks playing as the home team in all three games.

The third and final game of the series is set for 3 p.m. Wednesday at Wildcat Softball Field. It will be streamed live on WatchBigSky.com and PlutoTV.

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at [email protected], on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.

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