With spring sports starting up, Weber State’s softball season is just around the corner.
The Wildcats won their eighth Big Sky season title in 2021. However, unlike their 2019 season title run, the Wildcats didn’t enjoy success in the more recent regional tournament. After losses to Portland State and Sacramento State sent them home, senior middle infielder Faith Hoe believes the team will show a lot of grit in their hunt for an extended schedule.
“We’re all just going to be ready to win every game, especially against those teams like Portland State that knocked us out,” Hoe said. “There’s a little chip on our shoulders.”
Hoe, who has consistently batted over .300 during her tenure, has been on the team since 2019. When practice starts this season, veterans like her will be playing with newcomers Riley Whalen, Sarah Ruhl, Kaysen Korth, Taegan Smith and Victoria Rey, who all signed on in November.
Sophomore infielder Daisy Taloa and senior pitcher Arissa Paulson will also be joining the team. Formerly on BYU’s roster, Paulson won the 2019 West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year award.
“She gives us a little speed, and then we have our other pitchers that have always been good for us,” senior infielder McKell McCuistion said.
After a season ends, seniors typically leave. However, due to the cancelation of the 2020 season, fourth-year players have been offered an additional season to compensate for their loss.
“I’m really blessed and lucky to be able to come in for a fifth year,” senior outfielder Katelyn Whiting said. “I think it will be really fun to see what we can do with all the people who are going to return.”
The Wildcats will first lace up for the Grand Canyon Tournament on Feb. 11, playing double-headers two days in a row. Weber State will face Bradley University first and then Kansas University right after. The next day, the team will play Bradley again and then travel to play Grand Canyon University.
“We always play really good competition in the preseason,” McCuistion said. “We don’t expect to have an over .500 win record, but we have done good in the past.”
A tough double header on the Wildcats’ schedule is on March 4 when Weber State faces Texas A&M and UCLA. Despite the difficulty, the team is looking forward to these matchups.
“I want to get to the point where this team is sixes with them,” Whiting said. “If you think you can play with the big dogs, you can.”
Over the course of their last four matchups with Bradley, the Wildcats have won three.
“We’re a team who hits together and hits as a team,” Whiting said. “We love the atmosphere over at the Wildcat softball field, and all it needs is more fans and more people to show up and enjoy.”