The Wasatch Mountains backdropped the Wildcat Softball Field when the Weber State Wildcats struck out Colorado State on the way to a 4–1 win but ran head first into the Rams in a 12–2 loss in the second game of the afternoon’s doubleheader.
Sophomore pitcher Mariah Ramirez led the way for the Wildcats on the diamond and at the plate. Ramirez struck out eight CSU batters and gave up zero earned runs, pitching a complete game and earning WSU’s win.
“Just getting ahead in the count, that’s really what I focus on, and having fun,” Ramirez said of her success. “I go up there and enjoy the game.”
After three scoreless innings, the Rams took a 1–0 lead.
Rams sophomore catcher Peyton Allen reached the base paths on a single to centerfield.
CSU’s Haley Donaldson took first after she hit a grounder to Wildcats junior third baseman Chloe Camarero, who launched the ball to first baseman Ashlyn Visser. Visser dove for the ball but couldn’t hang on, and Donaldson took two with Allen heading to third.
Ram shortstop Corina Gamboa’s bunt advanced two Ram baserunners. Donaldson took third, and Allen scored CSU’s lone run in the game. The next two CSU batters grounded and popped out on Ramirez’s pitching.
Visser hammered a fourth inning lead-off triple to right-centerfield after striking out at her fist at-bat of the game for a bounce-back hit which started the Wildcats’ rally.
Lauren Hoe tied the game when she hit a RBI single to left field, bringing home Visser.
Freshman Makayla Donahoo’s RBI-single brought in Faith Hoe, who’d taken a base after being drilled with a pitch.
With two outs and runners on first and second, Ramirez stepped into the batter’s box and ripped the first pitch to right-centerfield for a 2-RBI double that broke the game open and brought Camarero and Faith Hoe across home plate, taking a 4-1 Wildcat lead in the fifth inning.
“We just all fed off of each other as a team,” Ramirez said. “When one gets on base we just feed off each other’s energy and cheer each other on.”
WSU left two baserunners stranded on base in the first inning and one in the third inning. Wildcat centerfielder and leadoff batter Mia Rushton was on base both times.
Rushton doubled and stole third base in the third inning.
“I just try to to stay calm up there, have good time and just really enjoy it,” Rushton said. “It’s a beautiful day, Mo [Ramirez] pitched a great game and it made it a lot easier for us.”
But only half the day was over at the ballpark in Ogden. Wildcat junior right-hander Kate Donaldson threw from the circle for the Wildcats, but the Rams brought the bats.
Senior CSU outfielder Ashley Michelena hit a lead-off single followed by a single by Allen. Donaldson and sophomore first baseman Danielle Serna both smacked doubles.
Wildcats head coach Mary Kay Amicone pulled Donaldson and inserted Amanda Sink into the pitching circle.
Sink pitched four and one-third innings, giving up eight hits and striking out two.
WSU scored two runs, but were overpowered by the Rams hitting.
“Our main focus is to not play for yourself, but play for us as a team,” Ramirez said of the team’s play. “We just know that, that’s basically what’s going to help us win games.”
The Wildcats left six runners on base.
Rushton scored one of the two Wildcat runs on a dynamic slide at home where she dodged the catcher’s mitt and dove on home plate.
“I don’t know if that was stupid or aggressive,” Rushton said of her slide. “But it worked out.”
Rushton leads the Wildcats with a .365 batting average, and is second on the team with an on-base percentage of .400.
“When you have fun, good things happen,” Rushton said.
The game ended after five innings with the Rams holding a 10-run lead.
“There’s a ton we can work on,” Ramirez said. “But right now we’re just working on the basics.”
The Wildcats next step on the diamond in Ogden looking for payback on April 6, when Utah Valley University drives up I-15 for an in-state rivalry game.
The Wolverines and Wildcats split a doubleheader in Orem on March 17, when the in-state rivals shut each other out — WSU taking the first game 3–0, and UVU taking the second 5–0.
Weber State softball holds a 13–12 overall record on the year and are 3–0 in Big Sky play.