Confined to the inside of a gym for the duration of preseason back home in Fargo, North Dakota State coach Darren Mueller is rarely sure exactly what he'll see when his team digs its cleats into dirt and grass for the first time.
At least he has the right pitcher for getting down to business.
In her first start of the season, junior Whitney Johnson struck out 19 batters in eight innings against Toledo and allowed just one hit and no earned runs to earn the win. She wasn't done. Johnson finished the weekend with a 3-1 record and piled up 44 strikeouts and six walks in 26 innings. In her lone loss, she allowed just one hit in six innings in a 1-0 defeat against tournament host Fresno State.
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