April 21, 2012

Wildcats show their mettle with outstanding performances

Snow College Bests WNC in Series

Western Nevada College softball team got close, but didn’t bring home the wins over the weekend. Two one-run defeats and two squandered leads stunted the Wildcats momentum during an April 20-21 road series at Snow College.

Snow edged the Wildcats 2-1 and 7-6, then completed the four-game sweep with 8-0 and 8-5 victories in Ephraim, Utah.

The Wildcats had won seven of their previous Scenic West Athletic Conference games going into the series. The losses dropped WNC to 15-22 in the SWAC and 20-31 overall.

Assistant Coach Rosie Contri began serving as interim head coach of the Wildcats, filling in for head coach Leah Wentworth, who is on maternity leave. "It's difficult. We know their potential," Contri said.

Snow's Katie Greenberg was a thorn in the Wildcats' side throughout the weekend as she tossed a no-hitter in the series opener. WNC, however, avoided being shut out as Jennifer Quam scored an unearned run in the first inning. Quam stole second base to move into scoring position and came home on a misplayed ball hit by Niki DiSera.

The Wildcats divvied up the pitching duties between Jordan Garcia, Alexia Alley and Ali Lostra, confounding the Badgers' offense for most of the game. Garcia allowed one hit in two innings, Alley surrendered four hits and one run in two innings and Lostra gave up one hit and one run to finish the game.

"They did their job; the only problem was we didn't hit," Contri said. The Wildcats rattled their bats in the second game, totaling three extra-base hits and 12 overall. Garcia belted a two-run homer in her only at-bat, while Lostra and Katirina Rand collected two hits, including a double, and an RBI. Quam, Melanie Pfeiffer and Taleas Marble each delivered a pair of hits. WNC took a 6-5 lead into the final inning but gave up two runs to suffer the defeat.

Greenberg homered and knocked in two runs as Snow won the third game 8-0 in five innings. She also pitched the shutout, only giving up hits to Quam and DiSera.

WNC appeared on the verge of winning the series finale, building a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning. But the Badgers pushed across four runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the score. WNC plated the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth before Snow again rallied to score four times in the bottom of the inning to earn the victory.

"We started out great, and we need to finish even stronger," Contri said. "You can't allow a good team like Snow momentum."

The Wildcats' 11-hit attack included two hits by Pfeiffer and DiSera. Rand was 1-3 with two RBI and Lostra 1-2 with an RBI, while Quam, Marble, Courtney Lange and Jordan Thomas each provided a base hit.

Snow discovered that it's prudent to keep Quam off the bases. Quam raised her SWAC-leading stolen base total to 49, which moves the freshman from Reno up to sixth in the nation, according to Contri.

"It's tough to get her out," Contri said. "She knows how to read the ball coming out of the hand of the pitcher and knows how to avoid the tag."
Despite the sweep, the Wildcats maintained a slight hold on fourth place in the SWAC.

WNC has a half-game lead on fifth-place College of Southern Nevada (16-24) heading into its final home games of the season April 27-28 at Edmonds Sports Complex, 1555 Livermore Lane, in Carson City. The doubleheaders with CSN begin at 1 p.m. on April 27 and noon on April 28.

WNC sophomores will be honored between games of the latter twin bill and a "Strike Out Cancer" fundraiser is planned. Bakery items, bracelets and balloons can be purchased as part of the fundraiser.

"It is going to be a big weekend for all of us," Contri said. " If we take care of business, there is no doubt that we can beat any team in this league."

Press Release: April 24, 2012

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