Reflecting on success and preparing for more

Weber State wins 2022 Big Sky Softball Tournament.

Weber State University’s softball team dominated the Big Sky Conference this year. After run-ruling every team in their path during the Big Sky tournament and losing only to one in-conference opponent all season, the Wildcats now wait and prepare for next spring.

“Right now, we’re reflecting on the things that we did well and what we want to do over the summer,” Weber State’s head coach Mary Kay Amicone said. “I’m super proud of everything that they’ve been able to accomplish to this point.”

After winning the regular season title and securing home-field advantage for another Big Sky tournament, the Wildcats held every team in the tournament this year scoreless and ended every game in five innings.

“We don’t set goals to shut people out,” Amicone said. “It comes with the process of getting the lead off out, working ahead and doing those little things.”

The process paid off as Weber State not only took home a tenth Big Sky softball championship, but also a third-seed selection in the NCAA Division I softball tournament.

“Honestly, that opportunity is still to me somewhat mind blowing,” Amicone said. “This team deserved that three-seed with their record and their stats and their domination in the tournament.”

With their third-seed selection, Weber State traveled to Seattle, Washington, for an NCAA tournament matchup against a University of Texas team led by standout Janae Jefferson.

Jefferson had three hits and three runs, including a home run, in four at-bats. The Longhorns beat the Wildcats 6–0 and sent them to a double elimination game against Lehigh University.

Weber State led for a majority of their game against the Mountain Hawks, but Lehigh came back in the seventh inning with a three-run performance for a 5–4 win, eliminating the Wildcats from the tournament and ending their historic run.

“That’s a tough loss. There’s no getting around it,” Amicone said. “We just turn to the fact that they had a spectacular year, and one-inning doesn’t define their year by any means.”

With a historic year behind them, Weber State is preparing for another successful season. However, the Wildcats will say goodbye to teammates like Big Sky Newcomer of the Year Arissa Henderson, two-time All-Conference first team member Chloe Camarero and veteran utility player Brooke Moeai and catcher Abigail Sagert.

“Arissa has a skillset that is just phenomenal,” Amicone said. “I kind of use the term with our team ‘being a catalyst.’ She was a catalyst for our success.”

As for veterans like Camarero and Moeai, they’ll leave the team with nine combined seasons of play for Weber State.

“Chloe and Brooke are the foundation of what we’ve been able to do in the past five years,” Amicone said. “We took that great group of 2019. They were on that team and they were learning to be leaders and they continued to develop their skill sets.”

One thing that made Weber State hard to beat last year was their phenomenal pitching rotation, which featured Henderson, 2021 Big Sky Pitcher of the Year Mariah Ramirez and Amanda Sink.

After battling foot injuries her freshman year, Amicone started putting sophomore pitcher Brooke Hatfield in during critical games, preparing her to be a bigger part of the rotation next spring.

“We’re really fortunate because we have a pitching staff that works hard to improve each other,” Amicone said. “She’s [Hatfield] such a competitor that she was ready to go when that time came.”

The Wildcats will also be adding five new players to their team from the recruiting class of 2022. Players include pitcher Kaysen Korth, outfielder Victoria Rey, infielder Sarah Ruhl, middle infielder Taegan Smith and outfielder Riley Whalen. Phenomenal recruits, Amicone is looking forward to putting in-state stars Korth and Smith on the field to add to the Wildcats’ “out-of-state” group.

“Those kids coming in are really going to provide us with a lot of depth and some different skill sets that we definitely want,” Amicone said. “We’re just excited for all of it that comes with a little bit of a new story. When you start fresh, you start again in the fall.”

Adding trophies to their case in the Dee Events Center, Weber State’s softball team closes this season looking forward to success ahead.

“Our goal every day is 1% better and do whatever it is that you need to do with that,” Amicone said. “What’s really fulfilling for me is when I look at our coaching staff and our players, they’re driven with just immense passion to get better.”