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Weber State softball wins three-game series against Portland State

Faith Hoe running back to the batter’s box after hitting a baseball with her bat.

This season, on April 5 and 6, the Wildcats went 2–1 in a three-game series against Portland State University. Weber State University softball currently has a 17–17 overall record and holds first place in the Big Sky Conference with a record of 5–1.

Game 1:
Weber’s lead started early with them scoring in the bottom of the first. In the second inning the Vikings had two runs from two walks with bases loaded. The Wildcats were able to tie the game when the Vikings had a wild pitch and Makayla Donahoo made it home. The next two innings the score did not change, but inning five Taegan Smith found home plate from a single hit from Gianna Memoli, making the score 3–2. The Vikings were unable to get another point on the board the remainder of the game, and the Wildcats defeated the Vikings 4–2.

Game 2:
In the first inning Mia Rushton came up to bat and hit a home run which put Weber in the lead with a strong start. No points were put on the scoreboard in the next three innings. In inning five the Vikings came back with a double that brought two Run Batted In which gave them a 2–1 lead. The Wildcats were able to fight back in inning seven, where a single was hit, allowing Sienna Soilis to bring in one run. With two outs Rushton singled to bring home Victoria Rey and Taegan Smith. Shortly after, Kiara Smith hit a home run and brought Rushton home as well. The score was 6–2. Abby Grundy came up to bat and hit a double sending Eva Richardson home. The Wildcats were able to hold on to it from there, defeating the Vikings 7–2.

Game 3:
Weber scored two runs in the first two innings. Grundy singled to bring home Kiaria Smith. No one scored in the third inning, but the fourth was in favor of the Vikings. The Vikings had four runs, leaving the Wildcats behind.

There was no scoring again in the fifth, but the sixth followed with Grundy making it home from a ground out to third base. The Vikings followed with four more runs, making the score 8–3. The Wildcats were not able to make a comeback in the seventh, leaving the score in the Vikings’ favor.

The following week, Brooke Hatfield, a senior and infielder/pitcher, earned Big Sky Pitcher of the Week honors. She had an Earned Run Average of 0.00 through seven innings. Hatfield recorded one strikeout and held the Vikings to a .258 batting average.

Hatfield’s first season playing as a Wildcat was in 2021. She played in 23 games and made nine starts, hitting .139 in 36 at bats. The season opener against Grand Canyon University in 2021, Hatfield made an appearance as pitcher, tossing 1.2 innings. She was a part of the Big Sky Conference Regular Season Championship team in 2021.

In 2022, she pitched in eight games for a total of 8.2 innings, and played in 13 games. Hatfield was a part of the Big Sky Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championship team in 2022. For the 2023 season she pitched in 19 games for a total of 41.2 innings.

“The highlight of playing with Weber is just getting to experience such an amazing culture and meeting so many good friends, teammates and players along the way,” Mia Rushton, an outfielder, said. “I feel like the relationships have made it a really awesome experience.”

Rushton is a senior player, and her first season at Weber was in 2021. She played and started in all 44 games as center field that season. Rushton led the team and was fourth in the Big Sky Conference with a .388 batting average, had 19 multi-hit games and set a school record with a 24-game hitting streak from Feb. 26 to April 30, where she went 41–90 for a .456 batting average.

“It was just such an honor getting the achievements I did my freshman year, ” Rushton said. “I got here and just started working and my hard work paid off, I think. I was able to learn so much from my coaches and my teammates.”

Rushton led the Wildcats and was fourth in the Big Sky Conference in runs with 39, and was second in the conference in triples with five, behind teammate Chloe Camarero. Rushton was also a part of the 2021 and 2022 Big Sky Conference Regular Season Championship team, and Big Sky Conference Tournament Championship team.

“We learned some important things this weekend,” Mary Amicone, head softball coach, said to Weber State Athletics. “It’s a challenge to win a conference series, but we did just that. When we play Wildcat softball we are always in the fight.”

Amicone, a former Weber softball player, announced her retirement following the 2024 season. This is her 11th season as head coach, and she led the Wildcats to six Big Sky regular season titles and four Big Sky Tournament championships. She has won nearly 800 games coaching at Weber State, Salt Lake Community College and Brigham Young University. The Wildcats have advanced to the NCAA Championships four times, and in 2019 Weber became the first school in the Big Sky to win a softball game at the NCAA Regionals.

For the remainder of this season, the Wildcats have 12 games left before the Big Sky Tournament that will take place May 8-11 in Pocatello, Idaho.

This week, April 10 Weber State faced the University of Utah at home. This was the 23rd all-time meeting between the Wildcats and the Utes. Before this game, Utah sat 21–17, 4–11 on the season. The last game these two teams faced each other, Utah won 10–4. The Utes have a 8–2 series lead in Ogden above Weber State.

The Wildcats will head over to Greeley, Colorado, for a three-game series against the University of Northern Colorado on April 12 at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and April 13 at noon. This will be the 44th all-time meeting between the two teams. Northern Colorado is 19–19, and 4–2 on the season. The last time Weber and Northern Colorado came against each other Northern Colorado won 10–6.

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Jacoba Jones
Jacoba Jones, Sports reporter

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