February 11, 2012

Wildcats End Weekend Series With Victory

WNC Rally Leads to Win Over No. 2 Salt Lake

The Western Nevada College softball team turned a corner over the weekend. After three losses to second-ranked Salt Lake Community College to kick off Scenic West Conference play, the unranked Wildcats came from behind to win 6-5 on Saturday in the series finale at St. George, Utah.

Head Coach Leah Wentworth called it the "biggest win in program history."
Salt Lake took a 5-4 lead in the top of the 10th inning, but the Wildcats rallied for two runs to pull out the dramatic conference victory.

"It shows that when we have everything come together, we can beat any team we go against," Wentworth said. "Every time we face them, we know we're going to get really tough competition. This is a challenge for our girls. It's a great way for us to start conference play."

Taleas Marble swatted a two-run double, bringing home Jennifer Quam and Jordan Thomas for the tying and winning scores. Salt Lake had taken a 5-4 lead on a sacrifice fly by Tanisha Anderson. Both teams started the deciding inning with a runner on second base under an international tiebreaker format.

After being shut out on one hit Friday’s doubleheader, the Wildcats delivered 16 hits Saturday. Marble gave the Wildcats offense a jolt to start the finale, homering with two outs in the first inning. Her third homer of the season scored Quam, who had singled and stolen second base, to give WNC a 2-1 lead.

Western Nevada nearly tacked on another home run in the third, but Thomas was denied when a Bruins' outfielder reached, then tumbled over the fence to make the run-saving grab. The Wildcats pushed across two more runs in the fourth inning, breaking a 2-2 tie. Freshman Tori Crowell, a Yerington High School graduate, joined Marble with a round-tripper of her own, a two-run blast off MaCauley Flint. The rally started when another Yerington product, Trinity Thomas, rapped a base hit to center field with one out.

The Bruins retaliated, scoring twice in the fifth inning. Then, the teams exchanged zeros on the scoreboard until the 10th inning.

Freshman pitcher Jordan Garcia was a workhorse on the mound for WNC, pitching all 10 innings to collect the victory. She allowed nine hits and only two earned runs. A reliever in prior appearances, Garcia made the most of her start-to-finish opportunity in the circle.

"She did a great job for us," Wentworth said. "Against a team that hits the ball like they do, we couldn't have asked for a better job."

Crowell pocketed three of WNC's nine hits, while Quam was 2 of 5 with two runs scored, and Marble went 2 of 5 with four RBIs.

"We had a really tough game in the opener, so to see them bounce back showed a lot of character," Wentworth said. "Defensively, we forced them to leave a lot of runners in scoring position. We did a great job of holding them back."

Ariel Zimmerman and Kylee Colvin blanked WNC on one hit in Salt Lake's 7-0 series-opening win Friday. The only hit off Zimmerman was a fourth-inning single to right by Marble. Salt Lake scored all of its runs in the second and third innings.
Flint quieted WNC bats for a second straight game on Friday, limiting the Wildcats to Thomas' sixth-inning base hit in the Bruins' 3-0 victory.

Garcia kept the Wildcats within striking range with her stingy performance in the circle, permitting five Bruin hits and an earned run in five innings. Salt Lake added some breathing room with a two-run rally in the seventh.

But Western Nevada began to figure out the Bruins' pitchers in game three, spraying seven hits in a 17-3 defeat. Ali-Marie Lostra slammed two hits and knocked in a run, while Quam, Marble, Thom, Katirina Rand and Niki DiSera each had one hit.

Western Nevada (6-12 overall, 1-3 in the SWAC) will resume conference action in Rangely, Colo., for four games against Colorado Northwestern Community College on February 24- 25.

Press Release: February 13, 2012

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