Weber State University’s softball team started off its season in Las Vegas, Nev. in the Sportco Kickoff Classic Tournament. WSU went 2-3 on the weekend, beating Kent State University and University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
“We came out and played really well the first two games,” said Head Coach Tina Johnson. “All three things worked really well together: pitching, hitting and defense. Even if we got a little behind in those games, the team did not give up. We just kept working everything out on that first day.”
Shortstop Symbree Minniear agreed the weekend went very well for the Wildcats.
“Overall we had a good weekend,” Minniear said. “We were able to take the good things from the weekend and grow on those and take the things we need to improve on and focus on those in practice, so we are ready for the upcoming weekend.”
The game against KSU went into extra innings. Sarah Clark started on the mound for the Wildcats and had eight strikeouts. London Clarke was on base and scored off a squeeze play by Erika James. James got a home run off that bunt by errors to win the game 2-1.
WSU pounded 15 hits at UNLV to come off conqueror 11-5. Clark finished 2-of-4 at the plate with four RBIs, a double and a home run while Lindsey Minniear went 4-of-4 at the plate with three runs scored and an RBI. Clark also came in and closed the game out on the mound, adding four strikeouts. Although Clark finished the game, the win went to Kelsie Vallies.
“We came out really strong on the weekend,” Clark said. “We talked really well on the field and helped each other figure out a game plan at the plate.”
Starting the season off with a 2-0 record, the team went into the next day of the tournament to face off against California State University, Bakersfield and No. 5 in the nation University of Oklahoma.
WSU lost its momentum going into the second game, losing 5-4 to CSU Bakersfield. The teams were tied going into the last inning when CSU Bakersfield hit a home run to end the game.
Against the U of O, WSU stuck with them and even had a 2-1 lead, but too many errors from the Wildcats and a grand slam from the Sooners led to WSU’s 12-2 defeat.
The University of Minnesota defeated WSU 8-0 on Sunday. The Gophers scored twice in the first inning and once in the second to take a 3-0 lead before closing the game out with five runs in the fifth inning.
“Saturday and Sunday, we had kind of lost our enthusiasm,” Minniear said. “We could all feel it, like we were missing the pure enjoyment of playing and being at the games.”
Clark said the Wildcats still have room for improvement, and that one thing the team needs to do is keep its spirits up.
“There are times when our pitching was not doing as well, our defense followed,” Clark said. “We need to pick each other up more. Instead of giving up hits and errors, we need to stay strong.”
The Wildcats, now 2-3 on the season, will travel to New Mexico to play in the Troy Cox Classic Tournament hosted by New Mexico State University.
“We want to play well as a team in New Mexico,” Clark said. “We want to play good defense and hit the ball well so that we can prepare for conference.”