(Editor’s note: story by Montana Sports Information)
OGDEN, UT – Chloe Camarero hit the second pitch of the bottom of the eighth over the fence in center to give Weber State a 2-1 walk-off victory over Montana on Saturday afternoon at Wildcat Softball Field in Ogden, Utah.
The win gave the Big Sky Conference-leading Wildcats (20-18, 12-1 BSC) a three-game sweep of the Grizzlies (16-29, 4-8 BSC) and handed Montana its third loss by walk-off home run in extra innings in its last eight league games.
The loss spoiled an effective 100-pitch outing by Montana starter Maddy Stensby and came a day after the Grizzlies were out-hit and out-pitched by the Wildcats, who swept Friday’s doubleheader with wins of 5-0 and 5-2.
“I’m dang proud of these players. I loved our response today. I thought we were more like us and that we gave ourselves a chance,” said coach Melanie Meuchel.
“We competed hard and represented well, so it was gut-wrenching for them. They wanted it so bad and fought so hard.”
Weber State had 20 hits, five for extra bases, in two games on Friday, but the Wildcats were kept off balance in most of their at-bats on Saturday by Stensby, who allowed just seven hits.
She worked a perfect first to set the tone, gave up an RBI single in the second, then allowed just three hits over the next five innings.
Camarero ended the game on a 0-1 pitch.
“Maddy was determined. She was focused and threw very well for us,” said Meuchel. “She got hit once, really, and it came at an unfortunate time.
“But she left everything she had out on the field today, and that’s all we can ask for.”
Unlike Friday, when Montana failed to give itself many chances to score, the Grizzlies put runners on base in each of the first six innings on Saturday.
That was the good news. The flip side was that Montana’s only run-scoring hit came in the top of the sixth, when Brooklyn Weisgram singled up the middle with two outs to score Maygen McGrath, who led off the inning by reaching on an infield error.
Montana was 1 for 12 with runners on base on Saturday, 2 for 33 for the series. With runners in scoring position the Grizzlies went 1 for 19 in the three games.
“I felt like we drove a couple of balls really well today. They made some great defensive plays that could have been multiple bases had they made it through,” said Meuchel.
One well-hit ball that did find a gap on Saturday was Cami Sellers’ double to center in the top of the fifth.
That extended her hitting streak to 18 games, now the best in program history after surpassing the 17-game streak of Bethany Olea two seasons ago.
Six players each had a hit for Montana on Saturday.
The Grizzlies will host Providence in a doubleheader on Monday at 2 p.m. at Grizzly Softball Field before hosting Northern Colorado next Friday and Saturday in Montana’s final home games of the season.
The Grizzlies will wrap up their regular season with a three-game series at Southern Utah the opening weekend of May.