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Keeping up with Wildcat softball

Makayla Donahoo prepares to scoop up the softball in the April 2022 softball season.

Wildcat Softball finished the 2023 season with a 13–32 overall record and a 6–9 Big Sky Conference record. The season ended on May 10 with an 11–7 defeat to Portland State University in the Big Sky Tournament opener. Following the opener the Wildcats played two consolation games with a 7–5 win over Sacramento State and ending the season with a 7–1 loss to Portland State.

Lauren Hoe — Shortly after the 2023 season ended, Lauren Hoe became the first ever Wildcat to sign a professional softball contract. Hoe signed with the 2022 German softball champion Bonn Capitals and departed from Weber State University on May 28.

Hoe was a four-time all-conference selection during her time at WSU. She won the 2021 Big Sky Conference Player of the Year and ranks in the top 10 in the Big Sky Conference for a career in virtually every offensive statistic, including home runs (32), slugging percentage (.572), on-base percentage (.408), runs scored (87), and doubles (29).

Hoe played a total of 193 career games at Weber State and ranks second in school history with 34 career home runs and ranks third in walks and slugging percentage.

Hoe graduated from Weber State with dual bachelor’s degrees in Exercise and Sport Science and Rehabilitation Sciences. She earned Big Sky Academic All-Conference honors all five years at Weber State University.

Kevin Jensen — Heading into the 2024 season the Wildcats softball team made some changes to their coaching staff. Kevin Jensen, softball pitching coach, retired after his five-year tenure at Wildcat softball. During Jensen’s five years as a Wildcat, he was a part of three Big Sky Championship teams, including the 2019 team that won the first NCAA regional in Big Sky Conference history.

Jensen was a vital pitching coach who developed five all-conference pitchers, and two of the most dominant pitchers in Big Sky Conference history in 2021 Big Sky pitcher of the Year, Mariah Ramirez and 2022 Newcomer of the Year, Arisa Henderson.

Head coach Mary Kay Amicone –- Weber State softball owes much of its success to Head Coach Amicone, who has clinched 10 Big Sky regular season and tournament championships during her tenure at Weber State University. After a distinguished career spanning multiple institutions, including Weber State, Salt Lake Community College, and BYU, Coach Amicone has decided to retire following the conclusion of the 2024 Wildcat softball season.

Coach Amicone’s contributions extend beyond Weber State’s campus. Prior to her role at the university, she enjoyed successful coaching stints at Salt Lake Community College and BYU. Her influence transcended sports, breaking barriers as the first female head coach of a Utah high school boys baseball team.

With nearly 800 victories under her belt, Coach Amicone’s impact goes beyond the win-loss column. Her dedication to nurturing both the athletic and personal growth of her players has been unwavering. Reflecting on her journey, she expressed gratitude for the opportunity to guide young athletes and impart valuable life lessons on and off the field.

“I started my college playing career here at Weber State and it’s been a real honor to end my career here,” Amicone said.

Having served as both a player and head coach at Weber State since 2014, Coach Amicone’s legacy is etched in the record books. Her tenure has seen remarkable achievements, including 275 wins and numerous conference accolades. Amicone has steered Wildcat softball to six Big Sky regular season titles and four Big Sky tournament championships.

“I’ve been so fortunate to be a coach and a teacher for so long and as a coach, it’s been my mission to give back to our families and our players on and off the field, to make their lives excellent, and leave them in a better place,” Amicone said. “For me, it feels like I’ve set the path in a good direction and I’m ready to pass the torch.

Wildcat softball will start their 2024 season at the Kajikawa Classic in Phoenix, Arizona, from Feb. 9-11. The first game of the season will be against the University of Wisconsin at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 9. Shortly after, the ‘Cats will face off against the University of Maine at 1:15 p.m.

On Feb. 10 the team will have more back-to-back games with Northwestern at 10:30 a.m. and Grand Canyon University at 4 p.m.

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Collyn Cowles, Sports editor

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