WSU Pitching Shines, Sweep Doubleheader

[media-credit id=11 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]
Weber State University’s Kelsie Vallies pitches the ball during a recent home game. WSU swept a doubleheader on Tuesday against the University of Great Falls Argonauts.
Yesterday, the Weber State University softball team swept both games of a doubleheader against the University of Great Falls Argonauts, winning the first game 8-0 and the second 11-2.

The first game got off to a quick start for the Wildcats when senior Sarah Clark struck out the first two batters she faced and quickly retired the third. WSU went up to bat in the bottom half of the inning and managed to score four runs on only two hits.

Clark continued to dominate, only allowing three UGF base runners over the next four innings. The Wildcats managed to score three more runs over the next three innings before winning on an RBI double from senior Symbree Minniear.

Clark proved to be the star of the game, striking out seven and walking only two while pitching a no-hitter. It was Clark’s second complete game shutout of the season, as she improved her record to 6-5. Clark also helped on offense, going 1-2 at the plate with a walk, a run and an RBI.

Minniear and freshman Janel Cunningham both went 2-3 with an RBI, with Minniear also scoring twice and walking once. WSU also got help from sophomore Brooke Silva and freshman Cydnee Clarke who both hit home runs for the second time this season as the Wildcats improved to 8-13.

After the game, Clark gave credit to her team for her no-hitter, said, “[Throwing the no-hitter] was awesome. We had great defense behind me. That helped a lot becuase I knew my team would back me up.”

The second game saw much of the same from both WSU and UGF with the Wildcats quickly jumping out to a 5-0 lead by the end of the third inning. The Argonauts did not fare much better on offense in the second game, as they were held to only two hits over the first four innings.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Wildcats exploded for six runs to take an 11-0 lead. UGF attempted a late comeback in the fifth inning when it managed to get three hits and score two runs. However, it proved to be too little too late when freshman Morgan Allaband struck out the final batter to end the game and gave WSU its ninth win of the season.

Much like in the first game, WSU pitching shone in the second game. Allaband struck out nine batters over five innings while only allowing two runs on five hits. Minniear went 1-4 with a run and an RBI, her lone hit coming on her team-leading third triple of the season.

Senior Erika James-Dixon went 1-2 with a walk and three stolen bases, giving her a team-high 10 stolen bases for the season. Silva and seniors Kami Johnson-Holley and Lindsey Minnich went 2-3 each. Combined, they drove in six of WSU’s runs.

After the game, Head Coach Tina Johnson said that the big difference from the previous week’s losses was the pitching.

Coach Johnson also praised her team’s defense.

“Defense came around, and they made some great plays,” she said.

Coach Johnson also said that after the team’s losses to Dixie State the previous week, they were fired up and ready to show everyone how they can perform.

Minnich was excited about the team’s performance on Tuesday and said that she was extremely proud of the them.

“Last week was a rough week,” Minnich said. “We were ready to come out and show our fans how we usually play.”

Minnich was also excited about her performance in the doubleheader, breaking the school record for career RBI’s with 51.

“I’m pretty stoked. For my senior year, this is an awesome way to go out,” Minnich said. “I’m excited, and I want this to keep going.”

This weekend, WSU will be traveling to Boise, Idaho, to take part in the Spring Hill Suites Invitational. Minnich said that the team needs to make sure that they continue to perform well on offense and defense, as they will be facing tougher pitching.

Coach Johnson also echoed Minnich’s sentiments.

“If our pitching does their job, and our bats continue to be hot, we’ll be successful this weekend,” she said.