For the first time this season, wicked weather wasn't a threat for the Wildcats softball team. The team took to Edmonds Field under sunny and favorable conditions facing the College of Southern Nevada this past weekend. The Wildcats put up an impressive showing, racking up 32 hits and 17 runs in the four-game series. Despite the valiant effort, WNC was unable to edge out CSN.
On Friday, Ashley Hall started game one on the mound for Western, likely seeing some familiar faces as a Durango High School grad from Las Vegas. She pitched 5.5 innings and was relieved by Cassie Vondrak.
Scoring came in the forth inning, when Mikaela Henshaw hit a triple and was brought home on a single by Tera Tibbitts. The Wildcats entered the seventh inning down 1-7, and showed promise in their final at bat. Tibbitts led off with a single, followed by a double by Melanie Pfeiffer. Niki DiSera drove in the two runners with an RBI double, but it was not enough to trump the Coyotes. WNC eventually fell to CSN, 3-7.
In Friday's nightcap, the two teams waged a drawn out battle, which began with an early WNC lead. In the first inning, Pfeiffer doubled and was brought home on an RBI single by DiSera. CSN countered with runs in the third, forth and fifth innings, but WNC answered in the bottom of the fifth. Tibbitts hit a single, Sarah Cudahy got on when hit by a pitch and Hall was walked to load the bases. Megan Hein knocked a triple and scored the three runners. CSN earned one in the sixth and two in the seventh. WNC singles in the seventh, including an RBI single by Gleason didn't net a win. CSN won, 5-8.
In Saturday's match-up, WNC struggled to keep up Friday's momentum. In the first game, they grabbed runs in the third inning when Pfeiffer tapped a single and Hall ripped a homerun to earn two for the Wildcats. In the fourth inning, Jamie Klopatek was walked, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. She scored, unearned, when Tibbitts reached on an error. Tibbitts also scored, unearned after a series of passed balls. WNC fell to CSN, 4-14.
In game two, WNC started with two runs in the first inning. DiSera was hit by a pitch to get on base. Hall singled and later scored off an error which also scored DiSera, unearned. In the next inning, Tibbitts and Pfeiffer singled and were brought in on an RBI double by Cudahy. In the fifth inning, Hein tripled and then scored on a passed ball to earn the last run for WNC. The final score was 5-10, Coyotes.
Coach Leah Wentworth said " Offensively, we did a good job of putting the ball into play, but we struggled to capitalize when we had girls on the bases."
In preparation for this weekend's series against the College of Southern Idaho, Wentworth says, "We'll be looking to strike early and bring more momentum at the beginning of each game. CSI is tracking right with top-ranked Salt Lake, and while we've beaten them on their home turf in the past, it'll be tough to do if we don't bring the pressure early."
The Wildcats travel to Twin Falls, Idaho, Friday-Saturday, March 18-19. CSI is ranked #15 by the National Junior College Athletic Association. The Wildcats will have to play without Niki DiSera, who will sit the series out with an injury.
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