MISSOULA — The Montana softball team suffered its first Big Sky Conference losses in heartbreaking fashion Friday, dropping a 2-1 decision in an eight-inning opener and a 5-4 verdict in the nightcap against Sacramento State.
The Hornets vaulted to the top of the league standings with the road sweep, boosting their record to 5-0 in league play and 20-15 overall. Montana fell to 3-2 in conference action and 9-20 overall.
In the opener, the Grizzlies jumped to a lead in the fourth inning when Missoula product Brooklyn Weisgram smacked a solo home run to left center field. Unfortunately, Montana pitcher Tristin Achenbach (6-9) couldn't hold off the Hornets.
Sacramento State manufactured a game-tying run in the sixth. Lewa Day reached base and scored on a Carley Morfey sacrifice fly to left field.
The game was knotted at 1-1 in the top of the eighth when Morfey homered down the left field line. Montana failed to come up with an answer in the bottom half.
Marissa Bertuccio (8-7) picked up the pitching win for the Hornets. She struck out three and allowed six hits. Achenbach struck out 11 while allowing five hits and two earned runs.
Montana jumped in front in the nightcap when Kylie Becker singled and scored on a Maygen McGrath base hit in the first frame. Sacramento State answered in a big way with two runs in the second and two in the third off Montana starting pitcher Allie Brock.
Brock exited in the fifth after giving up her fifth earned run. Montana shaved its deficit to 5-4 on a McGrath home run in the bottom of the fifth but failed to come up with the tying run.