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STORY BY STEVE SCHAACK-ISU SPORTS INFORMATION
POCATELLO, Idaho- The Idaho State softball team always believe they have a chance at a victory if they have outs to play with. In the first game of the Idaho Central Credit Union Big Sky Softball Tournament the Bengal softball team once again showed a flare for the dramatic when Hailey Breakwell hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift ISU to a 10-9 eight-inning victory over Sacramento State. The game also featured a one hour and 26 minute rain delay earlier in the afternoon.
Idaho State plays Portland State at 10 a.m. on Friday morning and Sacramento State and Southern Utah play at 1 p.m.
“We have coined a new phrase here and it is called the Magic of Miller Ranch,” Idaho State coach Julie Wright said. “We have outs and we have a chance. We were not intimated coming in down 9-7. The girls felt good about what they do here and in front of their fans.”
Idaho State trailed 9-7 going into the bottom of the eighth inning. Amanda Fitzsimmons opened the inning with a single up the middle and then Katelyn Marquez reached on an infield single. Vicky Galasso walked to load the bases and then with one out Maddy Hickman had a two-RBI double to tie the game at nine. The game was won when Breakwell hit a walk-off single, scoring Galasso.
“The greatest thing about Hailey Breakwell today was I kept saying to her after her first at bat was to get her foot down on time,” Wright said. “We had a conversation and the adjustments she made in her swing today are very impressive.
Idaho State finished the game with 13 hits led by Breakwell and Terah Blackwell each going 3-5. The two players each had two RBI. Marquez and Katee Wiley each had two hits. Galasso, Breakwell, Wiley and Blackwell all hit home runs for ISU in the game.
Haley Douglas earned the win by tossing the final 1.2 innings. Fitzsimmons pitched the first 2.1 innings, Kelsi Ott then went three innings and Bailey Foster pitched one. Sacramento State had 16 hits on the evening.
Sacramento State led 2-0 after the top of the fourth inning but in the bottom half of the inning the Bengals hit four home runs and took a 6-2 lead.
“That is who we are,” Wright said. “We are a gutsy team. We are going to hard. We are a very aggressive minded team and when they are up to bat that is how we think.”
The winner of the 10 a.m. game advances to the championship on Saturday at 1 p.m. The loser of the game plays at 4 p.m. vs. the winner of the 1 p.m. Sacramento State and Southern Utah game.