TEMPE – Seattle University softball pounded Weber State, 8-0 in five innings, to pick up its first win of 2019. The Redhawks opened the season with a 5-4 loss to Bradley at the Kajikawa Classic Friday. Shianne Smith threw a shutout in the nightcap at the Tempe Sports Complex.
“We took it on the chin in the first game,” said Coach Geoff Hirai. “The way this team bounced back was good to see. For us to come back and win all facets of the game tonight and play SU softball is a tribute to the growth of the team.”
Smith twirled a five-inning three-hitter Friday night, leading the Redhawks past Weber State. The sophomore struck out three and worked around baserunners for much of the night, providing a stellar first start in 2019.
With the game scoreless, Seattle U struck for three runs in the bottom of the second. Breanna Timmons blasted a solo home run to center to get SU on the board. Olivia Viggiano then walked. Two fielder's choices put Redhawks at first and third with two outs. Ally Choate took off for second and drew a throw, allowing Viggiano to scamper home ahead of the toss back to the plate. The double-steal made it 2-0. Madison Cathcart followed with an RBI single to expand the lead.
After a 1-2-3 frame from Smith, SU scored three more times in the third. Kaylee Ree walked and then Grace Dudden hit a ground-rule double. Mekenzie Madokoro reached on an error that plated two runs, giving the Redhawks a 5-0 margin. Viggiano reached on a fielder's choice and then stole second and took when the throw was errant. The freshman then scored on a wild pitch.
Weber State put two runners on in the fourth, but Smith earned a swinging strikeout to end the threat and send the Redhawks back on offense. Choate led off with a walk. After an out, Bailey Thompson lashed a double to right, putting runners at second and third with one out. Ree was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Grace Dudden's two-run base hit gave Seattle U an 8-0 lead and put the Redhawks just three outs from the win.
In the top of the fifth, Smith induced a groundout, a pop-up, and a flyout to close the contest.
Dudden went 2-3 with two RBIs and a run scored in her first collegiate start. Timmons homered to finish off a strong opening day, while Cathcart recorded a hit and an RBI.
Against Bradley, the Redhawks strung together several mini-rallies to take control of the game. In the top of the second inning, Carley Nance led off with a base hit up the middle. Mekenzie Madokoro reached on a fielder’s choice and then Timmons singled on the infield. Viggiano reached on an error to load the bases with one out. Dudden hit a groundball to short that brought Madokoro home for a 1-0 lead.
Nance, making the opening day start in the circle, tallied a pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the second. The left-hander retired the first eight batters of the day.
Cathcart reached on an error to start the third frame. Baily Paul pinch-ran and promptly stole second. Ree advanced Paul to third on a groundout. Bailey Thompson followed with a looping flyball to center, where the Braves’ centerfield made a sliding catch, but Paul sprinted home and gave SU a 2-0 advantage.
In the top of the fourth, Viggiano got aboard with two outs. The freshman stole second and then
Alyson Matriotti hit a hard ball to third, singling and allowing a hustling Viggiano to round third and score the game’s third run. Matriotti advanced to second on the play. Ally Choate dropped a single into right field, plating Matriotti for a 4-0 margin.
Nance worked around a single in the bottom of the fourth, but the Braves found two runs in the fifth to spark a rally. Smith came on in relief and got out of the inning. Smith pitched a scoreless sixth to push the contest to its final frame. The Redhawks were unable to stretch their lead in the seventh and Bradley came up with the winning runs to pull out the decision.
Choate singled twice and walked to lead the offense. Timmons added a pair of base hits. Nance pitched 4.1 innings, giving up one earned run on two hits.
SU continues its opening weekend with two games tomorrow. It faces Oregon State at 9:30 a.m. (8:30 Pacific) and Stanford at 2:30 p.m. Mountain (1:30 Pacific).