March 28, 2014
RENO, Nev. – Junior pitcher Megan Dortch threw her first collegiate no-hitter during Friday’s Mountain West doubleheader sweep of visiting New Mexico. The Wolf Pack took game one 13-5 in five innings and secured an 8-0 win in game two in six innings.
Nevada (20-13, 2-3 MW) jumped ahead 3-0 after the first inning of play during Friday’s opening contest. After the Wolf Pack loaded the bases with one out, a hit batter, fielder’s choice RBI and RBI single to center by Jasmine Jenkins provided the Pack with an early lead.
From there the team exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the second, getting some help in the field from the Lobos’ (10-22, 1-4 MW) defense. The big offensive surge in the frame came off the bat of sophomore Megan Sweet, who collected a bases-clearing double that put Nevada ahead 11-0 after two innings.
New Mexico got a run back in the top of the third and continued to chip away at the lead in its half of the fourth, plating four additional runs. Following a pair of scoreless half innings, the Pack found a way to get a couple more runs across to end the game in five innings. Danielle Wiltz led off the bottom of the fifth with a rope single through the left side and was moved all the way to third on a double by Ashley Butera with two outs. Nikki Orozco then stepped in and lined a two-RBI double to left center, giving Nevada the 13-5 win.
Freshman McKenna Isenberg got the call in the circle in game one and earned her seventh win of the season. Isenberg tossed three innings giving up just two hits and one earned run while striking out three. Senior Ariel Craig tossed inning four and surrendered four earned runs on five hits. Fellow senior Karlyn Jones threw the final inning of the game and struck out two of the three batters she faced.
Game two proved to be a gem in the circle for Dortch, throwing her first collegiate no-hitter. It marks just the sixth no-hitter thrown in Nevada softball history and the first since Mallary Darby in 2011. It is also the first no-no thrown by a Mountain West pitcher this season. Dortch worked six innings of no-hit ball with four walks and five strikeouts, three of which came in the first inning. The 5-8 junior earned her eighth win of the season with the victory.
The Wolf Pack did not get on the scoreboard in game two until the bottom of the third, scoring three runs on five hits. Nevada loaded the bases to begin the frame and got a timely single to left by Erin Jones that scored Hannah Harger from third. Butera then stepped in and collected a single of her own, plating one more run. Jenkins capped off the offense in the bottom of the third by driving in Jones on a single up the middle.
During its next plate appearance, the Wolf Pack tacked on an additional three runs thanks to a three-run shot to left off the bat of Jones, her first homerun of the season. In the sixth, Nevada put the game away when Jones then doubled in both Wiltz and Sweet to lock up the 8-0 victory.
Jones went 5-for-8 at the plate during the doubleheader, amassing seven RBI and scoring three runs. Sweet, Wiltz and Butera each produced three hits on the day and scored 11 runs between the three of them. In total, nine different Wolf Pack student-athletes collected hits Friday afternoon.
Nevada wraps up the three-game set with the Lobos this Sunday at noon at Hixson Park. Sunday’s game will have live stats and live video available at NevadaWolfPack.TV.