Starr Homers Twice As Nevada Shuts Out Minnesota
FULLERTON, Calif. It was the Kelsey Starr show Friday night at the DeMarini Invitational.
Nevada’s junior first baseman crushed a three-run home run in the first inning and a two-run shot in the third as the Wolf Pack downed Minnesota 5-0.
Nevada won its fourth straight and improved to 11-7 on the year. Minnesota fell to 8-9.
In the game, senior Brittany Puzey scored the 104th run of her career, tying Cindy Elkins (2003-06) for the all-time record at Nevada.
And sophomore Noelle Micka singled in the first inning to extend her career-best hitting streak to 15 games. That is Nevada’s longest streak since Sam Bias had a 15-game streak in 2008.
All of that was more than enough to make a winner out of Mallary Darby, who improved to 5-3 with the first shutout of her career. The freshman struck out seven and walked two while scattering four hits.
Nevada wasted no team jumping out on top as Micka singled and Britton Murdock walked to set the stage for Starr, who crushed a Briana Hassett pitch deep over the fence in left-center to put the Pack up 3-0.
In the third, Puzey walked and Starr took Hassett deep again, this time to left field, for her third home run of the season. It marks Starr second career two-homer game. The first came against Utah State on April 6, 2007.
Darby was sailing along until fifth inning when the Gophers loaded the bases with one out without the ball leaving the infield. Aubrey Davis singled up the middle before Colleen Conway dropped down a bunt single. The bases became full when Sammie Howard reached on an error.
The next hitter, Malisa Barnes, smoked a shot down the third-base line. Nevada’s Sam Bias made a jumping catch and then tagged the bag to double off Davis and get Darby out of the jam.
Nevada will be back in action on Saturday when it faces Oregon State and No. 9/11 Cal.