Lostra Throws Five-Hit Shutout Against Colorado Northwestern
They did it.
Western Nevada College Wildcats earned the softball program’s first postseason victory with a 2-0 win against Colorado Northwestern in the Region 18 tournament on Thursday morning in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Sophomore pitcher Ali Lostra blanked the Spartans on five hits and struck out the final two hitters with the potential tying runs on base to secure the history-making victory.
“It was really exciting,” said WNC coach Leah Wentworth. “Along with the first postseason win, another first was that I don’t think we shut out anybody this year.”
Jennifer Quam and Madison Gonzalez collectively provided four hits to ignite the offense.
WNC (19-42) moves on to play either North Idaho or tournament host College of Southern Idaho at 8:30 a.m. Friday in the double-elimination tournament.
“We are really excited about our chances. We’re a different team than when Southern Idaho saw us last. If we can play our best, we can beat them,” Wentworth said.
WNC didn’t waste any time marking the scoreboard against the Spartans. Quam led off the first with a triple and scored on a Gonzalez base hit.
The Wildcats made it 2-0 in the second inning when Lostra’s two-out base hit scored Heather Septon. Septon was on third base after singling, taking second on a passed ball and going to third on Carlee Beck’s groundout to the pitcher.
WNC, however, could have widened the margin during the rally as Quam and Gonzalez followed with base hits. On the latter hit by Gonzalez, Lostra was thrown out trying to score. Left fielder Chanel Pace gunned the ball home to catcher Daniel Brooks, who fired to third baseman Brandi Percival, who tagged out Lostra for the final out of the inning.
The Wildcats also stranded Gonzalez on second base in the first inning, Sydney Darby on third base in the third and Lostra on second in the fourth.
WNC pounded out seven hits against Colorado Northwestern starting pitcher Nicole Durley before she was relieved by Whitney Titus to start the fourth inning.
The Wildcats threatened again in the fifth, putting runners on second and third bases with one out. Darby reached on an infielder error and advanced to second on Alisha Nielsen’s sacrifice bunt. Jennifer Rechel sent Darby to third with a base hit, then stole second base. But Andrea Lee grounded out to Titus and Septon lined out to Percival to end the threat.
The Wildcats overcame leaving seven runners in scoring position through the first five innings.
“We did a good job of putting the ball in play and left a lot of runners on base. Fortunately, the two runs that we got were all that we needed,” Wentworth said.
Lostra carried a three-hit shutout through five innings, coaxing the Spartan batters to hit the ball on the ground. Nine of the Spartans’ first 15 outs were on groundballs. Lostra’s only trouble spot in the Spartan lineup was with leadoff hitter Dumas, who walked four straight times.
“She did a good job on the mound, and we made some great plays behind her defensively,” Wentworth said.
The Spartans, however, rallied in the sixth against Lostra. Shalese Connary led off with a double to center. But Lostra used a lineout to Rechel at short and groundout to Gonzalez at second to slow the Colorado Northwestern scoring bid. After a two-out walk to Amanda Cook, Lostra retired Megan Tubbs on a groundball to keep the shutout in place.
In the first inning, WNC left fielder Alia Cox threw out Tubbs at third base on a two-out double by a Pace.
Lostra wound up walking five and striking out three.
Quam finished 2 for 3 with a run scored, while Gonzalez was 2 for 4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Darby, Septon, Rechel and Lostra each contributed hits for the Wildcats.
|Photos (Click to Enlarge)|
|Ali Lostra and Heather Septon||Coach Leah Wentworth||Jennifer Quam|
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