Weber State softball split the weekend against in-state rivals, the University of Utah, on March 26 and 27 in Salt Lake City and Ogden.
The Wildcats opened their weekend traveling to Salt Lake and fell to the Utes 5–1.
Arissa Henderson started the first game of the weekend with a single home run to get the ‘Cats on the board, tying the game 1–1.
The Utes scored their first run of the game earlier in the game during the bottom of the first inning.
Utah established their lead further in the bottom of the sixth inning, adding four more runs on the board and pushing themselves to 5–1.
The following day, the Utes traveled up to Ogden, and Weber was ready for their comeback.
Three early runs from the U established a 3–0 lead in the top of the first. The starting pitcher for the Wildcats, Mariah Ramirez, was pulled after allowing two hits and walking two batters.
Amanda Sink was pulled onto the mound and finished off the top of the first inning.
Both Faith Hoe and Henderson were sent walking, and with two players on bases, McKell McCuistion sent the ball flying out of the park and tied the game 3–3.
“It was amazing. It felt good off the bat, but it wasn’t what I was trying to do,” McCuisition said. “Before the game, we were like, ‘Let’s just hit line drives.’ We struggled a little bit yesterday.”
Following McCuistion’s home run, Mariah Lopez was pulled from the mound and the Utes brought out Sydney Sandez.
Sandez struck out Chloe Camarero, but Emily Ruhl was quick to establish the ‘Cats’ lead with a single home run, giving Weber State their first lead of the game.
Makayla Donahoo sent the ball to the outfield for an RBI, pushing the Wildcats to a 5–3 lead.
5–3 would remain lit up on the scoreboard for the majority of the afternoon until the bottom of the sixth inning when Wildcats found themselves cheering on Henderson for the second time in two days.
Henderson blasted the ball out of the park and pushed the ‘Cats’ lead to 8–3.
Camarero ended her personal home run drought with a solo home run to give the ‘Cats a 9–3 lead.
At the top of the seventh inning, the Utes were able to add two runs to the score but ultimately couldn’t catch the ‘Cats. The final score out of Ogden was 9–5.
When playing instate rivals, “We don’t have to win every game,” McCuistion said. “We just have to show that we can compete with these teams.”
The Wildcats advanced to 22–7 overall and are set to close play against the Utah State Aggies on March 29.
Big Sky Conference play will kick off for the ‘Cats on April 1 as they hit the road and take on the Idaho State Bengals.
“We just have to keep doing what we’re doing,” McCusition said. “All of our preseason games we have been doing really well. This is one of our best seasons.”
Weber State will be back in Ogden on April 8 to take on the Southern Utah Thunderbirds.