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Big Sky softball: Weber State surrenders lead in 11-7 loss to Portland State

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | May 10, 2023

ROBERT CASEY, Weber State Athletics

Weber State catcher Lauren Hoe dives for the ball in a Big Sky Conference tournament first-round game against Portland State on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, in Ogden.

OGDEN — Weber State softball began the Big Sky Conference tournament Wednesday morning with a slew of runs that ultimately it couldn’t make stand up.

Lauren Hoe socked her 32nd career home run but Portland State rallied for an 11-7, first-round victory at Wildcat Softball Field.

No. 5 Weber State got things going early and knocked No. 4 PSU starter Sherrei Nakoa-Chung out of the contest.

In the first, Lauren Hoe popped up behind the plate but the Vikings couldn’t handle it, and drove in sister Faith Hoe with a single on the next pitch to make it 1-0. WSU had runners on the corners with no outs but could not add to the lead.

In the second, Mika Chong ripped a double to the wall in center field to score two runs and Emily Ruhl followed a few batters later with a liner down the left-field line, also a two-RBI double, to put Weber State up 5-0.

Portland State’s luck began to change there; though the Vikings left gaggles of runners on base, they broke through with two runs in the bottom of the second. WSU starter Mandy Johnson stopped it there with a strikeout.

But the Vikings kept coming. With Olivia Grey handling pitching duties in the circle, and calming down the Weber State offense, PSU pushed Johnson out of the game in favor of Jayci Finch. Ellie Babbitt then drove in two with a single and scored on a single from Olivia Dean to tie the game. The Vikings took the lead when Finch walked in a run with the bases loaded, putting PSU up 6-5, but she got a shallow flyout to center to end the threat.

With Faith Hoe aboard in the top of the fourth, Lauren Hoe launched her home run to center field to put the Wildcats back on top at 7-6.

Finch put two on in the bottom of the fourth and was replaced by Madi Peterson who, though she induced a grounder for an out at the plate, walked two and hit another batter to push across two runs, giving Portland State the lead at 8-7.

With Johnson back in the circle for Weber State, Dean began a three-run sixth for PSU with an RBI triple to help put the game away.

Lauren Hoe hit 2 for 3 with three RBIs for WSU. Mika Chong had two hits and two RBIs, and Finch was credited with the loss. Dean and Madi Thompson each drove in three for PSU, and Grey earned the win.

The teams’ 3-hour, 20-minute contest set the day behind schedule. So the day’s final game did not finish; No. 3 Northern Colorado leads No. 2 Sacramento State 8-6 through five complete innings. The two resume the game at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Weber State then plays the loser of that game at 2:30 p.m. or later in an elimination game.


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