by Zachary Knecht
Featured Image: Photo by Weber State Athletics
Weber State Montana Recap
The Weber State Wildcats took a trip up to Missoula, Montana, to face the Grizzlies in a three-game conference series. After a shaky start, WSU got back on the right track with their first series win against a Big Sky foe.
By taking two of the three games, the Wildcats improve to 5-7 (11-28) with their final regular season series coming up before the Big Sky Championships Tournament. Weber State is in fourth in the conference with a lot to play for against Idaho State as WSU can still rise or fall in the standings after the postponed tournament.
Friday, April 28
Weber State at Montana 1-6
The series got off on the wrong foot for Weber State, dropping their first game in Montana to the Grizzlies. Montana got on the board early with a two-run home run off Amanda Johnson in the bottom of the first inning. It wasn’t long before the Grizzlies added more insurance to their lead. Johnson was removed from the game after allowing a couple of more base runners, and Jayci Finch came in to play damage control. Finch nearly escaped the jam without allowing a run, but Montana snuck in one more before the end of the second.
The game was quiet before another Grizzly rally in the fifth, bringing three more runs to increase their lead to 6-0. The Wildcats wouldn’t go completely silent, though, as McKell McCuistion slapped a single up the middle to score Kortney Kemper, finishing the game 6-1.
Johnson was credited with the loss in her 1.1 innings on the mound. She allowed three runs on five hits and one walk. Finch pitched the final 4.2 innings, allowing three runs of her own on eight hits, one walk, and striking out one.
Friday, April 28
Weber State at Montana 11-10
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Weber State didn’t let themselves get fooled twice in Missoula as the bats came alive in the second game of their doubleheader. It didn’t take long for the Wildcats to showcase their offensive talents, pouring on seven runs in the first inning. Lauren and Faith Hoe drove in the first two runs before the rest of the team got in on the action. WSU took advantage of Montana’s mistakes in this one as a whopping eight of their eleven runs in the contest were unearned. A two-run Emily Ruhl double gave Weber State a 9-0 lead before the Grizzlies got on the board.
Montana compiled a little rally of their own at the bottom of the second. Their four runs narrowed the lead to 9-4 before their defense made more mistakes in the top half of the third. Emily Ruhl reached on a throwing error that brought in two more runs.
In the sixth inning with the score now 11-5, Weber State had a bit of a scare. The Grizzlies were rolling, pouring on the runs against the Wildcats. Having a six-run buffer, WSU had a lot to work with, but Montana strung five runs together to cut the deficit down to one. Thankfully, Weber State was able to close it out in the seventh to prevent a disastrous collapse.
Johnson was back in the decision as she earned the win on 3.1 innings pitched, giving up four earned runs on six hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. Brooke Hatfield didn’t have a fun time on the mound in 0.1 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and one walk. Madison Peterson made her first appearance in the series with nearly an identical stat line to Johnson. Peterson pitched 3.1 innings with four runs, five hits, three walks, and three strikeouts.
Saturday, April 29
Weber State at Montana 5-2
In the deciding game of the series, the battle between Weber State and Montana got off fast as it had all weekend. The Wildcats grabbed a 3-0 off of a couple of doubles from Mike Chong and Emily Ruhl in the first inning. Montana homered in the bottom bottom half to put the score at 3-2. Another rally granted the Wildcats two more runs. Katelyn Whiting hit a single into right field for the first of the couple, and Chong made a reappearance with a SAC fly. That would end the scoring for the game as the pitching took over.
Finch was given the victory after pitching six scoreless innings, giving up six hits, one walk, and striking out four. Hatfield had another shaky performance in her 1.0 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk.
What’s to Come
Weber State returns to Ogden for the final series of their season against the Idaho State Bengals. The times for their games go as follows:
Wednesday, May 3, 2 pm MST
Wednesday, May 3, 4 pm MST
Thursday, May 4, 12 pm MST
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