Softball ends on sour note

The Weber State University softball team finished its second-ever season in May. The Wildcats ended their season with a final record of 12-38 for the season and 3-17 in their conference play.

The team ended its season on a sour note, losing to Idaho State University, Southern Utah University, Utah Valley University and four times to Portland State University. PSU ended the season in the No. 1 seat of conference play.

“I feel like we didn’t do as well we could have,” said Brandi Christopher, senior catcher. “We had worked hard all the way through the season and it didn’t show at the end. I think we kind of let ourselves down.”

Erika James, a junior centerfielder, said she agrees with Christopher that the team could have ended the season on a better note.

“We wanted to do better than we did,” James said. “We had a goal to split every weekend in conference. We didn’t make that goal.”

Although the Wildcats did not get as many wins as they might have liked, both the coaches and the athletes said they feel like they made a lot of progress this year.

“Well, we took a big leap as a program,” James said. “But we definitely wanted to do better than we did. We did some successful things as a team. We have set the bar high for next year. We want to improve for next year and take things step by step. We accomplished improvement this year. Also, we did take a big step in our program with people breaking records and with our wins. We had a lot more wins this year than they did last year.”

Head coach Tina Johnson said she agrees that the team improved and will continue to improve.

“Overall, I think we had a positive season,” Johnson said. “It was much better than last year. I think we are going to continue to build. I think, with the experience that we have, we are definitely going to improve.”

Johnson also said the team learned a lot this year. The players were inexperienced in a few areas, but they have now come across those areas and are planning to build off them.

“We had a little bit of inexperience, and we pressed too hard when we got into conference play,” Johnson said. “When we pressed, we got tight. I think the experience we got out of this year will fall into next year. We know what conference is like; we know we have the ability to win games. One of the key things we have to do is take what the game gives us and use it instead of forcing things to happen.”

The Wildcats said they have high hopes for next year. They have three pitchers returning and are only losing four seniors.

“We are returning a lot of our pitchers,” James said. “We are going to be stronger. We are getting new catchers. We will be stronger hitting-wise. We are definitely going to come in with more wins next year in conference.”

Johnson said she is excited for the new upcoming freshmen, and that they will be great new assets to the program.

“We have nine new incoming freshmen,” Johnson said. “We have three local kids coming up. There are two that will be coming from Weber High School and one from Box Elder High School. We have one from Oklahoma and five from California. It will be a diverse group. They are a group that will add a lot to our program. We also added two pitchers with this group, and we added a few new catchers.”

Christopher, who played her final games at WSU, said she is sad to see the season end, but that she is excited to move on to other things coming her way in the future.

“I was definitely sad that the season ended,” she said. “We had such a great group of girls this year. But it was a relief at the same time; it’s over and time to move on to different things. It was a good way to go out as a team.”

The Wildcats have the summer off, but will return for their fall season in August. The softball team will also be hosting some children’s camps June 14–15, with team camps June 21–22.