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Weber State softball: Johnson pitches WSU to 2 wins, near upset, wins pitcher of week

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Feb 21, 2023

Robert Casey, Weber State Athletics

Weber State pitcher Amanda Sink throws a pitch during a game against Northern Colorado on Saturday, April 17, 2021, at Wildcat Softball Field in Ogden.

Weber State softball lost some pitching talent and experience unexpectedly late in the offseason but, at least for Mandy Johnson’s return as a senior, the Wildcats seem to have an ace.

Johnson (formerly Sink) is this week’s Big Sky Conference pitcher of the week after three stellar starts in Arizona where Weber State went 2-3 against tough competition.

Johnson started the week with a complete-game win over DePaul in which she allowed three runs on six hits, struck out a career-high eight and walked just one for a 7-3 Weber State victory.

Catcher Lauren Hoe hit her 25th career homer and also doubled, going 3 for 4 with three RBIs in that game.

Johnson’s next start was even better: a complete-game, two-hit shutout of Oregon State, a 2022 College World Series participant. She struck out five and walked one in a 3-0 victory.

Mika Chong was the hero at the plate in that one. After McKell McCuiston doubled in a run (and was thrown out trying to take third), Chong socked a solo homer to put WSU up 2-0 after one inning. Chong drove in the game’s final run with a sacrifice fly in the third and Johnson made the lead stand up.

After four games in Phoenix hosted by Grand Canyon University, Weber State finished its weekend Sunday in Tempe to play a true road game against No. 22 Arizona State where the Wildcats nearly claimed another huge win. Emily Ruhl hit a solo homer in the second and Chong put WSU up 2-1 with an RBI double in the third.

Jazmine Hill broke a 2-2 tie with a solo home run in the fifth inning to ultimately help ranked Arizona State escape with a 3-2 victory. Johnson threw all seven innings, allowing the three runs on eight hits, striking out four and walking three.

WSU also lost to Illinois State (by a 9-0 score) and Grand Canyon (6-0) during the trip.

Weber State (3-7) returns to action this weekend with two games each against Saint Louis and Utah Tech in St. George.


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