Western Nevada College Wildcats Softball faced the College of Southern Nevada Coyotes in the Region XVIII tournament on Friday. Both teams needed to win in order to stay in the contest for the championship, and their fight the entire game showed how important a battle it was. WNC batted first as the visiting team, and Katilyn Covione started in the circle for the Wildcats.
In the first inning, Katelyn Bomar drew a walk and Covione kept her home run streak alive, putting one out of the park and helping WNC to an early 2-0 lead. Covione has homered in each of the Wildcatsâ€™ four post-season games. Heather Septon knocked a double but was left stranded, and CSN put up one run in the bottom of the inning before the Wildcats could retire the side. 2-1, WNC.
Mackenzie Hospodka led off the second inning for WNC with a single. She advanced to third on a sacrifice by Lindsay Ashbaugh and a wild pitch, but was ultimately left stranded. WNC made short work of the Coyotes in the bottom of the inning to maintain their 2-1 lead.
In the third, Covione singled, but WNC was unable to capitalize with a run. CSN scored three runs in the bottom of the inning, taking over the lead, 4-2. CSN blanked the Wildcats in the top of the fourth, and WNC managed to keep the Coyotes from scoring, despite two runners on base.
Jenny Rechel and Madi Gonzalez singled in the fifth. Rechel scored on a sacrifice by Covione, and Gonzalez scored when Andi Lee reached on an error. The runs knotted the score at 4-4.
Carlee Beck came in to relieve Covione in the bottom of the fifth inning. Her defense shut down the Coyotes in three at bats. Both teams were scoreless in the sixth.
In the final inning, Gonzalez was walked, and Covione singled offering promise for the Wildcats, but both runners were left stranded. CSNâ€™s Tiani Hensley homered, to seize the win, knocking WNC out of the tournament.
Of her teamâ€™s dramatic battle, Coach Leah Wentworth said, â€œThe girls have faced so much adversity this season, and they came together when it counted. They played with so much heart and intensity, and they gave their very best this entire week.â€œ
She added that it was an amazing run and an honor to see her team play at their best. â€œThe team surprised a lot of folks at this tournament and demonstrated that they do have what it take to compete in this conference.â€
Wentworth applauded Covione for her performance during the week. â€œKatilyn was great for us in the circle and she ignited the offense with her bat. Heather (Septon) was also solid for us this tournament. In all they were tight as a unit.â€
In the post-season, Covione batted .692, going 9-13 with four homeruns. Heather Seption batted .500.