Softball team hopes for first win

The Weber State University softball team will be back in action this weekend, playing in its second tournament of the season.

The team will travel to California to participate in the Amy S. Harrison Classic, hosted by the University of California, Riverside. WSU will first take on Boise State University, then the University of San Diego, then will play the tournament hosts on Saturday and Sunday.

WSU’s Morgan Allaband said the team was nervous in the first tournament of the year. Now, she said, the team has calmed down and is playing better.

“Sometimes you just have to play in order to see how you’re going to react to things,” Allaband said. “We had some jitters (in the first tournament), but I felt like we’ve started putting things together. We played pretty good defensively. We just struggled hitting, but we’ve been working on that.”

In the Red Desert Classic, freshman Alyson Kulp saw her college career start off well. In her first five games, she had six hits, scored three runs and had a .353 batting average.

London Clarke, the only senior on the team, finished the tournament with three hits, one RBI and a batting average of .231.

One thing that hurt WSU in the first games was a lack of pitching depth. The Wildcats only had two available pitchers over their first five games. Kylee Colvin will make her debut on the mound this weekend. Colvin missed the opening tournament due to an illness.

Head coach Tina Johnson said having Colvin will be a big boost to the team.

“Having Colvin back gives us even more options and makes us a lot deeper,” she said.

During the first five games, the Wildcats were in all five games at one point, but were hurt by mistakes at key times. Johnson said she’s looking forward to seeing how much the team has improved over the past two weeks.

“I think we’ll be more mentally ready this weekend,” Johnson said. “During the first tournament, we had situations where we didn’t always react. I think we have a better understanding now and will be ready to play.”

Allaband also said she is expecting the team to be a lot more competitive this weekend.

“I’m excited for this weekend,” Allaband said. “I think we’ll be more ready to go now that we’ve played a few games. It will be good to see what we can do.”

BSU comes into the weekend at 4-6 overall after going 2-3 at the University of Texas at San Antonio Classic in San Antonio over the weekend.

USD is 3-4 overall after going 2-3 last weekend at the University of California, Santa Barbara tournament, which included two one-run losses to the host team.

UCR is 2-7 overall, having dropped six straight since a 2-1 win over California State University, Sacramento on Feb. 9. Three of those losses were to the No. 2 University of Oklahoma, the No. 18 University of Washington and the No. 22 University of Kentucky.

Following this tournament, the Wildcats will head to Nevada next weekend when they take part in the Eller Media Stadium Classic held in Las Vegas. The Wildcats’ regular season will open in mid-March against Utah State University.