North Idaho College cooled off the Western Nevada College Wildcats, sweeping three Scenic West Athletic Conference softball games on Friday in Coeur dâ€™Alene, Idaho.
Tori Almos blanked WNC on four hits while striking out 11 to earn the first-game victory, 6-0, snapping the Wildcatsâ€™ five-game winning streak. The Cardinals completed the sweep with 14-1 and 10-5 wins.
The teams elected to play three games on Friday with snow and extremely cold temperatures forecast for Coeur dâ€™Alene on Saturday. A high temperature of 12 degrees is expected on Saturday.
In the opener, WNC starting pitcher Carlee Beck gave up six hits and three earned runs in six innings. She fanned three.
Beck shut out North Idaho on one hit through three innings. She was able to overcome three errors behind her with three strikeouts.
But the Cardinals broke through with four runs in the fourth inning. Allison Paladeni got on base with a walk and Des-Ree Guardado followed with a bunt single. Teadora Parkerâ€™s sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base, and a groundout by Marissa Tarin scored Paladeni with the first run. A dropped infield popup allowed two more runners to score to make it 3-0. Hayden Fieldsâ€™ base hit, the first one out of the infield during the rally, plated Madison Anthony to move North Idaho in front, 4-0.
The Wildcats threatened to get some of the runs back in their next at-bat. Lindsey Ashbaugh singled to start the fifth and Katilyn Covione followed with a double to left, putting runners on second and third bases with no one out. But the Wildcats didnâ€™t score, and Anthonyâ€™s two-out, two-run double in the sixth broke it open at 6-0.
Through the first four innings, WNCâ€™s lone hits off Almos were by the Hospodka sisters, Makenzie and Meghan.
Meghan Hospodka reached on a two-out base hit in the first, but Jenny Rechelâ€™s groundout ended the scoring chance. In the third, Makenzie Hospodka hit a one-out single to center and was sacrificed to second by Madi Gonzalez. But Meghan Hospodka struck out to end the threat.
In game two, Brittany Hecker limited the Wildcats to five hits to pick up the five-inning victory.
Two of the Wildcatsâ€™ hits came off the bat of Cara McCarthy.
McCarthyâ€™s base hit in the second inning scored Heather Septon, who had doubled, to tie the score at 1.
The Cardinals hit four home runs off Wildcat starter Covione and scored 13 unanswered runs.
Kylene Hatton launched a three-run homer during a five-run second inning. Fields highlighted a four-run third inning with a two-run homer. Paladeni homered to lead off the Cardinal fourth, and Anthony capped the scoring with a two-run blast in the same inning.
In the third game of the day, the Wildcats touched up Hecker for five runs on six hits, but it wasnâ€™t enough. The Cardinals used 10 walks and seven hits off Ashbaugh to raise their conference record to 9-6.
Ashbaugh delivered two hits and knocked in a run for the Wildcats, while Rechel and Andi Lee also had an RBI and Meghan Hospokda scored twice.
The Wildcats, who entered the day one-half game behind North Idaho, dropped to 5-9 in the SWAC and 8-15 overall.