After a silent day for the Western Nevada College bats on Friday, the Wildcats woke up offensively against 14th-ranked College of Southern Idaho on Saturday in Twins Falls, Idaho.
With eight different Wildcats delivering a hit in the opening game, the Wildcats scored seven times in a 17-7 defeat. CSI completed the four-game Scenic West Athletic Conference sweep with a 14-3 victory in game two.
â€œThey fought really hard,â€ said WNC coach Leah Wentworth, whose team was down to nine healthy players following injuries to Madi Gonzalez, Carlee Beck and Hali Bennion. â€œPutting up seven runs against a team like this is a great effort.â€
The Golden Eagles improved to 27-11 overall and 21-7 in SWAC play, moving to within one-half game of first place College of Southern Nevada. WNC dropped to 9-27 overall and 6-21 in SWAC action.
Whitney Littledike belted two homers during a pivotal nine-run second inning, and Sierra Whitmer homered twice as the Golden Eagles dispatched the Wildcats in five innings. Both CSI players finished with five RBI.
â€œThey have some solid hitters one through nine,â€ Wentworth said. â€œItâ€™s really tough to hold them back.â€
Megan Hospodka doubled and knocked in two runs for WNC. Heather Septon, Jenny Rechel, Lindsey Ashbaugh, Andi Lee, Cara McCarthy and Katelyn Bomar each contributed a base hit and a RBI. Makenzie and Meghan Hospodka each scored two runs.
â€œWe came out with the game plan of shortening up our swings to make sure we got through the balls,â€ Wentworth said. â€œWe were seeing the ball a lot better and we had a lot more production.â€
WNC broke out on top 2-0 in the first inning. Septonâ€™s sacrifice fly scored Makenzie Hospodka, then Ashbaugh provided a two-out single to plate Meghan Hospodka.
But the Golden Eagled sent 16 hitters to the plate during a nine-run second inning against WNC freshman pitcher Katilyn Covione. LIttledike homered twice in the inning, hitting a two-run shot to start the scoring and capping the inning with a three-run blast.
â€œThis team had some great second innings against us,â€ Wentworth said.
Whitmer smacked a three-run homer during a four-run second inning, putting CSI ahead 14-2. Whitmer added a two-run shot in the fourth.
WNC peppered CSI pitching for five runs in the fifth inning and made a strong bid to extend the game into the sixth inning. Bomar and Makenzie Hospodka set the table for a crooked-number inning with base hits. Next, Meghan Hospodka doubled in both baserunners to pull the Wildcats within 17-4. Rechelâ€™s base hit kept the momentum going, sending Meghan Hospodka to third base. Then, Septon put the ball in play and was rewarded with a misplayed ball that allowed Meghan Hospodka to score the third run of the frame. Lee and McCarthy picked up the final two RBI of the rally. Leeâ€™s groundout plated Rechel, and McCarthyâ€™s base hit to right field sent Septon home.
In the series finale, the Golden Eagles swatted 17 hits off WNC pitchers Ashbaugh and Covione.
Aubrey Whitmer and Carley White fueled the offense with three hits apiece. Whitmer homered and knocked in four runs.
Lee, Covione, Rechel and Makenzie Hospodka rapped hits off winning pitcher Kami Merrill.
Like they have for most of the season against nationally ranked teams, the Wildcats scored first. Makenzie Hospodka led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Meghan Hospodka. Rechelâ€™s base hit sent her teammate to third base, and Septonâ€™s second sacrifice fly of the day put the Wildcats on the scoreboard first.
However, the Golden Eagles struck back with two runs in their first at-bat. Aubrey Whitmerâ€™s double scored White with the tying run and CSI went on top, 2-1, when Aubrey Whitmer came home on an error.
But WNC came back to tie the score at 2 in the second. Lee doubled to start the inning, went to third on McCarthyâ€™s groundout and scored on Merrillâ€™s wild pitch.
CSI put the game out of reach in its half of the second, bringing 14 hitters to the plate and scoring eight runs for a 10-2 lead. The Golden Eagles connected for five extra-base hits, including a two-run double by Kayla Carter, during the rally.
In the fifth inning, Septonâ€™s third sacrifice fly of the afternoon brought home Meghan Hospodka with the Wildcatsâ€™ final run.
The Wildcats will have time to get some of their injured players healthy as they have a bye week before travelling to Salt Lake for a four-game series April 4-5.