Clark sees Wildcats as confident

Apr 19 2012 - 9:30pm

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OGDEN -- While the season might be winding down to its final weeks, Sarah Clark says the Wildcats aren't finished yet.

"It's been a fun season, but we still have a lot of goals left," Clark said. "I'm excited how we are coming together as a team."

A native of Springville, the 5-foot-6 senior has helped guide the Weber State University softball team to new heights this season as she has compiled a 15-9 record on the mound and became Weber State's career strikeout leader during last weekend's series with Idaho State.

That series also pushed the Wildcats (8-4 PCSC, 19-24 overall) into a first-place tie with Portland State in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference's Mountain Division.

"When we hit well, everything else seems to fall in place and we have more confidence," Clark said. "We just need to keep hitting and everything will work for us."

Clark and the Wildcats will take a short trip to Orem this weekend to face in-state rival Utah Valley in a key four-game Pacific Coast series at Wolverine Field.

First pitch of the series is set for 3 p.m. today, with the first pitch at noon Saturday.

In a season that has seen numerous Wildcat records broken, Clark needs just one more win on the mound to equal the single-season school record of 16. She is tied with Portland State's Anna Bertrand (15-10) and Loyola Marymount's Molly Medeiros (15-6) for the most wins in the Pacific Coast this season.

"Sarah is a real competitor; she wants to be on the field, and she is at her best when the pressure is on," Weber State coach Tina Johnson said. "When we were recruiting her, we thought she was a great all-around athlete. She has worked extremely hard this year. She always wants to get better."

This weekend's games at Utah Valley will be a final homecoming of sorts for the senior right-hander, who grew up in nearby Springville, and Clark expects to see plenty of familiar faces.

"I have a lot of friends and family that will come and watch, and they are excited to see me play," Clark said. "It will be fun to play in front of them.

"We want to end up first place in conference, but we have to make sure to take it one game at a time," Clark added. "We have to focus on the little things and focus on the things that will get us there."

Her work on the mound isn't her only contribution to the team either, as she is hitting .397 at the plate, the second-best mark on the team. Clark has 46 hits, 27 RBIs and 26 runs scored, along with 11 doubles and three home runs this season.

"Sarah will just do whatever we ask her to do," Johnson said. "She is a very unselfish player. What we've accomplished this year is directly attributable to our five seniors. They have really stepped up and that has made the players around them step up and become better."

Clark came to Weber State after a celebrated two-year career at Salt Lake Community College, where she compiled a 46-5 record on the mound and helped guide the Bruins to back-to-back Region 18 titles.

"I knew Weber was a good school with a good nursing program, but I was excited to come here and start a new program with traditions," Clark said. "I knew it was just starting and the only place it could go was up, so I was excited to be a part of that."

Clark and her four fellow seniors, Kami Johnson-Holley, Symbree Minniear, Erika James-Dixon and Lyndsey Minnich, have helped rewrite the Wildcats' record books, and, perhaps more importantly, have given the program, in just its third year of reinstatement after a nearly three-decade absence, a rock solid foundation to move forward from."

"I think we have all worked hard and helped the team push harder this year," Clark said. "We wanted to leave the program better than when we came."

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