The Western Nevada College Wildcats softball team faced the Bruins of Salt Lake Community College, Friday, Feb. 14 for a home opening doubleheader at Edmonds Sports Complex, Carson City. The Wildcats came into the series 0-4 in the Scenic West Athletic Conference after losses to College of Southern Nevada last week. They managed eight hits in the first game, but lost 5-14 in five innings. In the second game the Wildcats fought hard, but came up short despite 12 hits. They fell 5-7.
In game one, the Bruins took an early lead, scoring three in the top of the first inning and five in the second. The Wildcats put runs on the board in the bottom of the second when Heather Septon singled, followed by a single by Madi Gonzales. An overthrow to first by the Bruins advanced Septon to third. She scored when Jenny Rechel hit a double, deep into center field. Gonzales was tagged out on an attempt to score. An overthrow by the Bruins down the third base line scored Rechel, making the score 2-8, Bruins.
In the third, the Bruins put up one run, which was answered by a solo homerun by Megan Hospodka, and in the fourth, Salt Lake tallied three runs and blanked WNC. Salt Lake put up two more runs in the fifth. WNC put up two of their own in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff double by Rechel, who scored on a double by flex player Andi Lee. Megan Hospodka singled, and Lee scored on a single by Katilyn Covione, but it wasnâ€™t enough. WNC fell to the Bruins, 5-14 in five innings. Pitcher Lindsey Ashbaugh took the loss for the Wildcats.
WNC coach Leah Wentworth commended Lee for coming off the bench for the Wildcats. â€œShe did exactly what we needed her to do, but Salt Lake put up runs each inning, and our late rally wasnâ€™t enough.â€
Of her teamâ€™s effort, Wentworth said, â€œWe need to do a better job of not giving extra bases. Weâ€™re making some mental mistakes that I know we can iron out. Weâ€™ll be working on matching the other team at the plate by putting up more hits. Weâ€™ve seen two tough teams right at the start of our conference season, but I know we can compete if we play solid.â€
In the second game, the Wildcats did just that. They were able to slow the Bruins’ momentum, allowing just one run in the first. WNC evened the score, 1-1 in the fourth inning when Rechel singled and then scored on a double by Gonzales. Salt Lake scored one in the fifth and brought in three in the sixth to make the score 5-1, but WNC refused to give up.
The Wildcats put up four of their own in the sixth. Rechel, Gonzales and Katelyn Bomar singled to load the bases. Ashbaugh scored Rechel with a single, and Makenzie Hospodka doubled, scoring the runners and knotting the score at 5-5.
In the final inning, the Bruins brought in two, and allowed nothing more from the Wildcats. The game ended 5-7 in favor of Salt Lake. Carlee Beck got the loss for the Wildcats.
Games continue Saturday, Feb. 15, at noon and 2 p.m. at Edmonds Sports Complex.