Wildcats edge out Snow College in Friday match-up.
The Western Nevada College Wildcats faced the Snow College Badgers for their final home stand series of the 2013 season. Freshman Carlee Beck pitched a complete game and freshman Alisha Nielsen smacked a three-run homer as Western Nevada College surprised Snow College 4-3 in the first game of Scenic West Athletic Conference softball doubleheader on Friday at Edmonds Sports Complex in Carson City. In the second game, the Wildcats held the Badgers to one run, and topped Snow College, 8-1. Ali Lostra earned the win for WNC.
“They are showing a lot of teamwork here coming on at the end of the season,” said WNC coach Leah Wentworth. “It was good softball all the way around.”
By knocking off the third-place Badgers, the Wildcats improved to 14-26 in the SWAC.
Beck assumed the role of the series-opening starter against the Badgers. She worked her way out of two potential big-scoring innings early. After surrendering a run-scoring single in the first inning, Beck stranded three runners on base.
The momentum quickly swung in WNC’s favor in the bottom of the first inning when Nielsen drove a two-out offering from Katie Greenberg over the fence for a three-run homer.
“I’m honestly not a home-run hitter, so it was nice to get it out,” said Nielsen, who now has five long balls on the season. “I know this pitcher, so it was nice to get it off of her.”
While Nielsen doesn’t view herself as a home-run hitter, Wentworth does.
“She definitely has all of the ability to be a home-run hitter,” Wentworth said. “She kind of has an idea of who she used to be, and she’s definitely a different hitter than she came in here as. When she connects right, she has a lot of power.”
WNC made the score 4-1 in the third as Sydney Darby hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Jennifer Quam. Quam started the rally with a single to left, stole second base and advanced to third on Jennifer Rechel’s sacrifice bunt.
Snow left two more runners in scoring position in the second inning as Beck got out of the jam with a groundout to Rechel and lineout to Madison Gonzalez.
Snow finally capitalized on some base runners in the fourth. Timmarie Taylor doubled to left to begin a two-run Badger uprising. A dropped popup by third baseman Heather Septon put runners on first and second bases. Sara Park knocked home Taylor with a double to the gap in left-center. Ally McAfee’s base hit to left plated Mills to trim the Wildcats’ lead to 4-3.
Darby helped her pitcher by throwing out McAfee trying to steal second base, and a groundout to Gonzalez kept two additional Badgers on the bases.
Through four innings, Beck stranded eight Badgers on the bases.
The Badgers threatened to tie the score in the sixth inning, but the Wildcats held their one-run lead by throwing out Park at the plate. Park attempted to score from first base when Quam lost McAfee’s deep fly to center in the sun. Quam quickly retrieved the ball and threw a strike to first baseman Nielsen, whose relay home beat Park, allowing Darby to block the plate for the third out.
“She was definitely holding her ground there,” Wentworth said.
In the seventh, Beck retired cleanup hitter Greenberg on a soft liner to Gonzalez. After Sydney Butler reached second base on a single to left and outfielder error, Beck nailed down the victory on a sharp groundout and lineout to Septon.
“We had our offense and defense come together,” Nielsen said. “We had a hard time getting both to (work at the same time).”
In game two, the Badgers jumped ahead early, scoring one run in the first inning but Quam shut it down, catching a fly to centerfield and firing it to second for a double play.
At the bottom of first, Quam led off the ‘Cats with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Rechel and scored on a pop fly by Darby, knotting the score, 1-1.
WNC opened it up in the second. Nielsen hit a line drive single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Gonzales. She advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Lostra and Alia Cox were walked, loading the bases for the Wildcats. A single by Quam scored Nielsen, and a double by Rechel scored Lostra, Cox and Quam. The score, 5-1, Wildcats.
Lee and Gonzales singled in the third inning, and Lee scored, bringing the score to 6-1, WNC. In the fourth, Quam singled, but was left stranded, and in the fifth, Heather Septon singled, but was also left stranded. Cox led off the sixth with a single, and Rechel hit a two run homer to bring the score to 8-1 in favor of the Wildcats. WNC shut down Snow in top of the seventh, to grab the win.
The Wildcats and the Badgers square off for another doubleheader Saturday, April 27 beginning at noon at Edmonds Sports Complex, 1555 Livermore Lane, Carson City. Sophomore players will be honored for their contributions to the team during a ceremony in between games.
|Photos (Click to Enlarge)|
|Ali Lostra||Alisha Nielsen at Bat||Jennifer Quam rounds first.|
|Madison Gonzales||Pitcher Carlee Beck||Alia Cox and Jennifer Quam|
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