Late Win Gives Split to Softball Home Opener
March 7, 2006
Reno, Nev. - The University of Nevada softball team split an exhibition double-header with the Chinese National Team Tuesday, in its home opener at Idlewild Park. Nevada struggled early, losing 17-2 after five innings but bounced back big in the second game winning in a 4-0 shutout.
Early weather predictions for the day looked to cause a mass of problems for the scheduled series. Predictions didn't hold too well though as clear skies held up for most of the performance. Occasional light snow flurries and a snow/rain mix began to pop in throughout the second game, but nothing got strong enough to force any suspension or cancellation of play.
The first game ended by run-rule since the Wolf Pack was down by more than eight runs after the fifth inning. Mental mistakes cost the Pack dearly ending the game with eight errors and just three hits. The trouble started early with the Chinese team taking a three-run lead in the first inning, added another six runs in the second four in the third, including back-to-back homeruns, with another four in the fifth.
Nevada senior Candice Rainwater (Dana Hills, Calif.) got the start and the loss on the mound for the Pack in two innings of pitching. Rainwater had nine runs, but only three were earned while junior Tiffany Hoeft (Redding, Calif.) pitched out the final three innings with four earned runs facing 21 batters.
It was a complete turnaround for Nevada in the second game. The Wolf Pack slid smoothly through the early part of the game retiring the first 12 straight batters without giving up a single hit. The Chinese team didn't even get a runner on base until late in the fifth inning, and only had two hits for the entire game. The Pack also made it through with only one error.
Freshman Kymberly Silagyi (Chino, Calif.) lead the team to victory with only one hit in her three at-bats. That one hit was a huge one however, as she blasted a shot deep over the right-field fence for a grand-slam homerun. The homerun gave Silagyi four RBI for the game. Sophomore Jordan McPherson (Simi Valley, Calif.) pitched a complete game allowing just the two hits in all seven innings of play, with three strikeouts against 24 batters.
The Wolf Pack will now return to the road this weekend as it travels to play in the National Invitation Softball Tournament. The tournament will prove to be a fantastic opportunity as quality programs from all over the country will be competing in the event. Nevada opens play on Friday, March 10 with games against Oregon at 2 p.m. and Sacramento State at 4 p.m. After that its bracket play that runs on Saturday and Sunday, March 11 and 12 with possible opponents of San Jose State, UC Davis, Southern Illinois, Colorado State, Florida, North Dakota State, Arizona State, Santa Clara, St. Francis (NY), Iowa and Cal. Currently both Cal (6) and Arizona State (10) are ranked in the most recent ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Poll released Tuesday.