There had been no scarcity of hits for the Western Nevada College softball team in recent Scenic West Athletic Conference series against Colorado Northwestern and North Idaho College.
But on Friday, the Wildcats struggled at the plate against Snow College pitchers Taylor Allman and Belle Stoddard in Ephraim, Utah. Allman shut out WNC on two hits in the Badgersâ€™ 8-0 victory to kick off a four-game series. The Wildcats made a little more contact against Stoddard, but their five-hit effort left them on a the short end of a 6-1 score.
With a 20-degree temperature drop and rain in the forecast for Saturday, the teams agreed to play a third game on Friday.
Snow overcame a 4-0 first-inning deficit to complete the tripleheader sweep, 10-6.
â€œThere is a 90 percent chance of rain with the storm coming in,â€ said WNC Coach Leah Wentworth, whose team played three games in one day earlier this season at North Idaho College.
In the final two games of its series with North Idaho last weekend, WNC totaled 19 hits. The Wildcats also connected for a program-record 22 hits in the final game of its series with Colorado Northwestern.
But Katelyn Bomar and Katilyn Covione mustered the only two hits against Allman in the opener against Snow.
Covione started in the circle for the Wildcats, giving up 12 hits, including home runs to Elise Sutherland and Kenzie Rasmussen. The Wildcats trailed 3-0 after three innings, but the Badgers scored twice in the fourth inning and three in the fifth to end the contest.
In game two, sophomore pitcher Carlee Beck kept the Wildcats close until the Badgers tallied three runs in the third inning and two more in the fifth. Beck allowed 10 hits and six earned runs in going the distance.
Covione prevented the Badgers from recording their second successive shutout with a solo home run in the sixth inning. It was her third homer in three games for the Wildcats.
â€œShe really got ahold of it. It went at least 245 feet to center field,â€ Wentworth said.
Bomar, Heather Septon, Lindsey Ashbaugh and Jenny Rechel collected the other hits off Stoddard.
In the third game, the Wildcats loaded the bases with one out in the first frame on three free passes. A wild pitch allowed Madi Gonzalez to score the first run. Two more walks pushed Covione across the plate, and Heather Septon and Meghan Hospodka scored the third and fourth runs of the rally on wild pitches.
Cara McCarthy doubled in Makenzie Hospodka in the third inning to put WNC ahead 5-2, but Snow outscored the Wildcats 8-1 the rest of the way.
We were given a lot more opportunities in that game. We drew a lot more walks,â€ Wentworth said. â€œBut we were striking out. We had 10 strikeout and left 14 runners on base.â€
Gonzalez led the Wildcats at the plate with three walks and a hit.
The losses dropped WNC to 12-39 overall, including 9-33 in the SWAC.
Weather permiting, the teams will try to squeeze in the final game of the series at 11 a.m. Saturday.