Katilyn Covione pitched a complete-game four-hitter and Makenzie Hospodka knocked in five runs as Western Nevada College softball team returned to the win column in the Scenic West Athletic Conference.
After dropping the opening game of a doubleheader to Colorado Northwestern Community College on Friday, the Wildcats battered the Spartans, 8-1, in game two in Rangely, Colo., to end a 16-game SWAC losing streak.
â€œIt wasnâ€™t just a win. I thought it was one of our best games all year,â€ said WNC coach Leah Wentworth. â€œThey played a really solid game all the way around.â€
Hospodkaâ€™s first-inning triple with the bases loaded set the tone for seven-inning contest. Her blast to right field allowed Covione, Cara McCarthy and sister Meghan Hospodka to score.
Makenzie Hospodka added a two-run homer in the seventh inning to put the game out of reach.
â€œShe had a great day at the plate,â€ Wentworth said.
Her offense was more than enough for Covione, who has developed into a reliable pitcher as a freshman. Covione allowed just four hits in following her outstanding effort against Salt Lake, the SWACâ€™s second-place team, last Saturday.
â€œSheâ€™s getting stronger with each performance,â€ Wentworth said.
WNC produced 11 hits, including three each by Madi Gonzalez and Meghan Hospodka. Covione chipped in two.
The Wildcats improved to 7-26 in SWAC play and 10-32 overall. CNCC is 4-34 in the SWAC.
In the opening game, sophomore pitcher Carlee Beck gave up just four hits, but the Wildcats lost 3-2. It marked the second successive game that WNC came up one run short.
Beck was upstaged by the Spartans hurler Rilee Lutz, who scattered seven hits to earn the victory.
â€œCarlee pitched great for us out there, but we werenâ€™t able to rally hits together throughout the lineup,â€ Wentworth said.
It was WNCâ€™s first loss in five meetings with the Spartans this season.
Beck gave up just two hits through four innings but was victimized by two errors behind her, contributing to two Spartansâ€™ runs. She allowed just one earned run while walking none.
Covione and McCarthy led the Wildcatsâ€™ offense with two hits apiece.
Despite outhitting the Spartans 3-1 through the first three innings, the Wildcats trailed 2-1. Colorado Northwestern took advantage of infielder errors in the second and third innings to score a run in each inning.
After Covione scored an unearned run in the top of the third inning to knot the score at 1, the Spartans quickly produced the go-ahead run. Felicia Duran reached second base on a Lindsey Ashbaugh error and went to third on Daniel Brooksâ€™ sacrifice bunt. Sydnie Swensonâ€™s sacrifice fly to center field plated Duran, putting the Spartans ahead 2-1.
However, the Wildcats used an error themselves to retie the score in the sixth inning. Makenzie Hospodka started the rally with a double to center field. McCarthyâ€™s sacrifice bunt moved Hospodka to third base. Following a strikeout, Hospodka scored when Swenson made a error on Covioneâ€™s groundball.
But like they did each time WNC tied the score, the Spartans responded in their half of the sixth. Swenson made up for untimely error with a bunt single. She moved into scoring position by stealing second base and went to third on a groundout. With two outs, Jaisha Webb connected for a double, easily scoring Swenson from third as Colorado Northwestern retook the lead, 3-2.
The teams conclude their series with a doubleheader commencing at 11 a.m. Saturday.