The Western Nevada College softball team started strong Friday in their four game series against Salt Lake Community College, but the No. 3 ranked team in the nation found its offense before the day was done. The Bruins shut out the Wildcats 5-0 and 8-0 in Carson City. In retrospect, though, Wildcats Coach Leah Wentworth found a number of positives in the outing.
"We made them earn it; they had to work hard for it" she said. "We had the bases loaded in game one, and we had some really strong defense."
In the opener, starting pitcher Ashley Hall held the league leaders scoreless for two innings before they managed one run on two hits in the third. The Wildcats defense held until the fifth inning when Salt Lake scored three runs on four hits, including a two-run homer.
WNC's first hit came in the bottom of the fourth inning when freshman Sarah Cudahy smacked a double to centerfield. The Wildcats added three more hits in the sixth inning. Freshman Jordan Thomas led off with a double to centerfield, and freshman Tera Tibbits followed with a single that advanced Thomas to third. Melanie Pfeiffer smacked a single to load the bases, but the Bruins defense held, tagging Cudahy at first and Thomas at home for the double play, then striking out Niki DiSera to end the inning.
In game two, the Wildcats tallied 10 hits but could not score. Starting pitcher Cassie Vondrak struggled, giving up three runs in the first inning on four hits and an error.
DiSera smacked a double to left field in the bottom of the inning, but the Wildcats didn't convert.
Salt Lake opened the second inning with a solo home run by Kylee Brinkerhoff, and added an RBI single for a 5-0 lead. Hall took the mound for WNC in the top of the third, pitching three scoreless innings before allowing a two-run homer in the seventh for a 7-0 Bruins lead.
Other Wildcats hitting came on singles from Vondrak, DiSera, Cudahy, Megan Hein, Thomas, and Ashley Gleason.
"It took us too long to adjust on offense" Wentworth said. "We had some timely hits, but we can't fall behind in the count. There's not a lot of room for error against one of the nation's top teams."
The series continues Saturday with a doubleheader set to begin at noon.
|Photos (Click to Enlarge)|
|Ashley Hall at bat||Cassie Vondrak catch||Jordan Thomas Play at Second Base|
|Jordan Thomas Catch||Megan Hein catching||Melaine Pfeiffer at bat|
|Mikaela Henshaw||Niki DiSera Bunt||Tera Tibbitts at Bat|
|Wildcats Defensive Hustle|
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