Pack Beats No. 15 Northwestern
TEMPE, Ariz. – For the second straight year, the Nevada softball team took down a nationally ranked Northwestern squad at the Kajikawa Classic.
Last year, the Pack beat the Wildcats in an 11-inning thiller. This year, no extra innings were needed as Nevada came back from a 4-2 deficit to win beat No. 15 Northwestern 6-4.
That gave Nevada a split on the day as the Pack fell to Texas A&M earlier, 6-4. The Wolf Pack is 2-2 on the season and will conclude play in the Kajikawa Classic on Sunday when it plays No. 6/4 Arizona at 10:15 a.m. (Pacific).
Senior Sam Bias led the way offensively for the Pack as she went 3-for-4 with a run and two RBI in the victory. With Nevada trailing 4-2 in the fifth, Bias came through with a clutch two-run single to tie the game. She later doubled in the seventh as Nevada scored twice in the top of the inning to take the lead.
Senior Katie Holverson (1-1) was strong in the circle as she went the distance for her first win of the year. She struck out seven and gave up six hits and four runs with only two of those earned.
Britton Murdock got things going early for the Pack as the junior crushed a two-run opposite-field home run in the first inning to stake Holverson to a 2-0 lead.
Northwestern came right back and tied it in the bottom of the inning as Adrienne Monka hit a two-run home run of her own off Holverson.
The Wildcats took the lead in the third as Monka walked with two outs and Michelle Batts then hit a two-run homer to put Northwestern on top.
In the first however, Nevada got things going again offensively. Freshman Chelsea Barilli led off with a bunt single and that chased Wildcats starter Jessica Smith. After Noelle Micka walked and Sam Puzey popped out, Bias hit a two-run single back up the middle to tie it.
Holverson then worked out of the first of three major jams. Northwestern loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth and Holverson escaped unscathed. Then in the sixth, the Wildcats put runners on second and third with one out but Holverson struck out the next two batters to get out of it.
In the top of the seventh, Micka drew a lead-off walk and moved to third on Bias’s double. Northwestern then brought in ace Lauren Delaney to try and get out of the jam. Delaney hit Murdock to load the bases and then Micka scored the go-ahead run on a Delaney wild pitch. Kelsey Starr then hit a sacrifice fly to score Bias and give Nevada an insurance run.
Northwestern put two runners on in the bottom of the seventh and brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate, but Holverson struck one batter out before getting a pop up and a ground-ball out to get out of the jam and secure the victory.
In the first game of the day, Nevada built a 3-0 lead early on Texas A&M as freshman Lauren Lastrapes notched her first career RBI with a single in the third. Danielle Patrick followed with a two-run double to give the Pack a 3-0 lead.
But the Aggies answered with six runs in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead.
Murdock slugged her first home run of the season in the sixth inning but Nevada would get no closer than 6-4.