Softball 'in the thick of things' with split weekend

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Weber State University’s right fielder, Cydnee Clarke, hits the ball in the home games last Thursday. WSU won two and lost two against Northern Colorado University in the first games of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference play.

Weber State University split both games on both days with scores of 15-6 (W), 4-12 (L), 6-13 (L) and 3-1 (W) against Northern Colorado University in the Wildcat’s first conference game.

“We had a strong team performance and a great effort from everyone this weekend,” said Tina Johnson, WSU head coach. “We played with confidence and composure in game four. I’m proud of the girls and how they came together.”

Second baseman Symbree Minniear agreed with Johnson that the team came together.

“We wanted to win 3-4 and come out ahead on the weekend,” Minniear said. “This has been the best that we have come out in conference; usually it’s not this good, so that is something we have accomplished as a team.”

WSU earned a five-inning win in the opening game of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference and dropped a school record high of 17 hits.

“We went back to the basics with hitting this week,” Minniear said. “We let it happen and didn’t force things. We stepped up to the plate and had fun and didn’t worry too much about it.”

A total of eight different Wildcats recorded hits at the plate. Shortstop Brook Silva went 3-4 at the plate and had a career high of six RBIs and two home runs. One of them was a grand slam in the third inning. Designated hitter Cydnee Clarke went 4-4 at the plate with a career high of five RBIs.

Clark was 3-3 at the plate and started on the mound for the Wildcats. Clark earned her 10th win of the season. She is the third pitcher in WSU history to reach double digit wins.

In the second game Saturday, the Wildcats fell behind 3-0 early in the game. The team rallied back with a 3-2 score in the top of the third inning. The momentum didn’t last long because the Bears scored six runs and took a 9-2 lead. After seven full innings of play the final scored was 12-4.

On Sunday the Wildcats split another set of games. The Wildcats fell 13-6 in the opening game. Siliva went 3-4 in the first game with Clark. Center fielder Erika Dixon and third baseman Lyndsey Minnich each had two hits. Minnich had her third home run of the series. WSU outhit NCU 12-11.

“The games we lost, we had the same amount of hits as the other team; we just didn’t string our hits together as well and that hindered us this weekend,” Minniear said.

The second game proved to be more victorious for the ‘Cats as they held the bears to a 3-1 win. Clarke went 3-3 at the plate, including a double. Minnich earned her 40th RBI of the season.

“This puts us in the thick of things, and the girls are excited for the next series,” Johnson said.

Clark said that although the team excelled offensively, it struggled defensively.

“Our defense struggled in some of the games,” Clark said. “We were off. That is something we want to improve for next week to have stronger defense to go with our strong hitting.”

WSU continues conference play this weekend against the University of Seattle, Friday at noon and 2 p.m. at the Wildcat Softball Complex.

“We want to come out on top this weekend and get at least 3-4 games especially on our home field,” Minniear said.

Clarke agreed the upcoming home games are a big deal for the team.

“We want to do well because they are home games and conference games it will be a huge step for us,” Clarke said.