ISU Softball Another Walk Off Winner
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STORY BY JEREK WOLCOTT-ISU SPORTS INFORMATION
POCATELLO, Idaho – The Idaho State softball team battled Utah Valley, and the wind, but came out on top with an 8-7 win on a pinch hit, walk-off single by Gabby Lopez that scored Katelyn Marquez in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Kacie Burnett was three-for-thee with two runs scored and two stolen bases. Katelyn Marquez was three-for -four with two RBIs and two stolen bases. Hailey Breakwell was two-for-four with two RBIs. ISU tallied 12 hits and five stolen bases in the outing.
"I thought the offense battled today and did a good job putting runs on the board," Head Coach Julie Wright said. "Overall it may have been an ugly win and sometimes that's all that matters."
The ugliest part of the game may have been the weather. A constant wind battered Miller Ranch Stadium with gusts up to 40 miles per hour for the duration of the game.
Bailey Foster (7-4) earned the win in relief. She struck out three, gave up four hits and two runs in three innings pitched.
The Bengals started the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when Terah Blackwell singled to left field scoring Burnett.
The Wolverines knotted the game at one with a home run in the top of the second inning.
Idaho State took a 2-1 lead in the bottom half of the inning when Marquez scored on a wild pitch.
In the top of the third inning Utah Valley again answered with a solo home run by Amanda Robinson to tie the game at two.
Breakwell answered with a solo blast of her own to start the scoring in the bottom of the third. The Bengals extended their lead to 5-2 when Marquez doubled home Katee Wiley and Vicky Galasso.
Utah Valley tied the game at five when Robinson hit her second home run of the game in the fourth inning.
In the top of the fifth, UVU took its first lead at 7-5 on a two-RBI single.
ISU scored two runs in the sixth to tie the game at seven. Breakwell singled through the left side to score Burnett. Three batters later, Micheala Taylor scored on a passed ball.
In the top of the seventh Utah Valley got a leadoff single but Foster retired the next three batters to maintain the tie.
In the bottom half of the inning, with one out, Marquez singled to second base and then stole second. Wright called up Lopez to pinch hit for Sarah Hayes, she took advantage of her opportunity.
She singled up the middle to score Marquez and give the Bengals the 8-7 win.
"Gabby Lopez has been excellent filling her role," Wright said. "She has come up big for us."
The two stolen bases for Burnett gives her 24 on the season and the ISU single-season record.
"It was really exciting to see Kacie take the single-season stolen base record," Wright said. "She continues to do great things and has had an impressive freshman year thus far."
The Bengals are 25-16 on the season and next face Northen Colorado with two games Saturday, April 19, starting at 1 p.m. and one game Sunday, April 20, also at 1 p.m.
There will be an Easter egg hunt between games Saturday for elementary age children.