by Zachary Knecht
Featured Image: Photo by Weber State Athletics
Northern Colorado Weber State Recap
The Weber State Wildcats hosted the Northern Colorado Bears this past weekend in a three-game series of conference play. WSU continued their season struggles, dropping their third consecutive tournament against Big Sky opponents. With two series left in the regular season, Weber State has much catching up to do to stay afloat in the standings.
After the tough weekend, the Wildcats are 3-6 in conference play, holding them at fifth in the conference, while the Bears get back to .500 at 6-6, tied for third in the Big Sky.
Saturday, April 22
Northern Colorado at Weber State 8-3
The weekend started sourly as the Wildcats were blown out by the Bears on their home field. Northern Colorado got off to a 1-0 start after the top half of the first inning, but after responding with two runs – a Mika Chong sac fly and Lauren Hoe homer – Weber State looked poised for a big night at the plate. Unfortunately, the Bears’ pitching is overwhelming, and their hitting can do some damage, which they showed early.
With WSU winning 2-1 after the first, Northern Colorado came rolling in. The Bears rallied in the second inning against Amanda Johnson to take a commanding 5-2 lead. Chong would strike again in the third inning with an RBI single, but WSU’s bats couldn’t get hot. Northern Colorado tacked on three more insurance runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach for the struggling Wildcats.
Johnson was credited with the loss after 1.1 innings, giving up five runs on five hits and two walks. Jayci Finch did a decent job playing damage control, pitching the longest of Weber State’s staff. She threw 4.0 innings and allowed three runs – two earned – on seven hits and two walks. Brooke Hatfield finished things off in her 1.2 innings of no run ball.
Saturday, April 22
Northern Colorado at Weber State 0-2
After the rocky pitching performance to start the day, Weber State dominated Northern Colorado, only allowing three hits in the contest. Compared to their earlier battle, the second game of the doubleheader was quiet, with the only two runs of the game coming in the first couple of innings. Chong’s stellar season continued with her two-hit performance, the first of them driving in a run to give WSU the lead. Faith Hoe also jumped into the action, driving in a run on a single in the bottom of the second.
Johnson didn’t let the previous outing affect her as she pitched a complete game shutout, allowing three hits, three walks, and striking out five. She utterly dominated the Bears from start to finish, giving the Wildcats a much-needed win to close out the day.
Sunday, April 23
Northern Colorado at Weber State 10-6
Both teams brought the noise into Sunday to determine the series winner. Coming off of a very quiet performance the day before, each lineup was itching to drive in some runs, so they did. Lauren Hoe helped Weber State get the first run on the board with a sac fly in the first inning. Northern Colorado responded a couple of innings later with a sizeable rally. The Bears strung together five hits and one walk to bring five runs across the plate, knocking Madison Peterson out of the game in the process.
Lauren Hoe kept the momentum rolling with her RBI single in the third to get the score back within three, and Emily Ruhl narrowed it again after reaching on a fielder’s choice. Unfortunately, another Northern Colorado rally gave the Bears an 8-3 lead after the fourth. The Hoe-Ruhl duo struck again in the fifth, driving in a run each, with Gianna Memoli getting in on the action with an RBI double. That would be it for Weber State’s production, and the Bears would go on to extend their lead to 10-6 before the final out.
After the shaky performance, Peterson was given the loss, pitching 2.2 innings and allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks. Johnson didn’t repeat her immaculate performance, going 1.1 innings and giving up three runs on two hits and one walk. Finch also couldn’t get away from Northern Colorado cleanly, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk.
What’s to Come
The Wildcats go on the road after the poor home performance to face the Montana Grizzlies. As it stands, the Grizzlies are last in the Big Sky, and Weber State hopes to take advantage.
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