Softball starts play next month

The Weber State University softball team is preparing to start play next month in the inaugural season of softball in the Big Sky Conference. Last season, the Wildcats went 21-31.

Last year, before softball was a Big Sky sport, the Wildcats partic

ipated in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference. Their season will open on Feb. 8 in St. George during the Red Desert Classic, and they will first take on Loyola Marymount University. WSU will also participate in tournaments hosted by the University of California, Riverside; the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and California State University, Long Beach.

WSU head coach Tina Johnson said in a press release that she thinks playing a handful of preseason tournaments will help the team grow and prepare for the Big Sky season.

“We’ll gain valuable experience and give the rookies a taste of what playing at this high of a level is all about,” she said.

The Wildcats will play their first home game on March 13 against Utah State University. The game against USU will be the start of a 12-game home stand, in which they’ll face the University of Great Falls, Portland State University and Utah Valley University.

The Wildcats’ first road trip will come in early April when they face Idaho State University, the University of Utah and California State University, Sacramento. They will then return to Ogden for a short home stand against Southern Utah University, then travel to UVU before finishing their season at the University of Northern Colorado.

The Big Sky Conference tournament will take place May 10-11. The top-ranked team after the conference season will host the tournament. The top four teams at the end of the regular season will participate in the conference tournament.

Johnson said she is excited about the Big Sky tournament and that she hopes her team will be able to work hard throughout the season to reach the tournament.

“It’ll be fun to have that tournament as our goal,” Johnson said. “This team has the potential to get there.”