Streak Breaks with Split Against New Mexico State
April 22, 2006
Las Cruces, N.M. - The University of Nevada broke a five-game losing streak when it won the final of a three-game series 5-1 at New Mexico State Saturday at the NMSU Softball Complex. The win improves Nevada to 20-28 (5-7 WAC) while New Mexico State drops to 24-18 (7-7 WAC).
Nevada scored its five runs with six hits while New Mexico State had seven hits, both teams had one error. Sophomore Jordan McPherson improved to 13-17 as the Pack's winning pitcher with four strikeouts an seven hits. The Aggies went through three different pitchers to try and stop the Wolf Pack, with Kim Watson taking the loss with four hits and four strikeouts.
The Wolf Pack found itself down early after going down in its first three straight at-bats, NMSU came out strong in the bottom of the first. The Aggies used back to back singles and a stolen base to get runners on second and third and a costly error by freshman Katie Stith (Chino Hills, Calif.) allowed Kristi Randall to score from third.
McPherson got the Pack's first out of the game on the next batter with her first strikeout of the game catching Ashley Roszkos swinging. Nevada then got outs on the next two consecutive plays to get out of the inning with one Aggie still on base, but down 1-0.
It didn't take Nevada long to answer and took the lead in the top of the third inning. After one quick out against the Pack, Nevada used an error and back-to-back singles to load the bases. Freshman Kym Silagyi (Chino, Calif.) than took a hit just over the head of the right fielder for a double that brought in Stith and senior Cindy Elkins (Reno, Nev.).
After an out and a walk the bases were loaded again with senior Candice Rainwater (Dana Hills, Calif.) hit a single into the outfield bringing in Silagyi and sophomore Tyler Schafer (Star, Idaho). Another walk again loaded the bases, but a diving catch by Roszkos in right field off a shot by senior Lindsey Hall (Avondale, Ariz.) ended the inning.
Later in the top of the fifth inning, the Wolf Pack was on the verge of improving their lead with freshman Brittany Puzey (Carson City, Nev.) having advanced to third after fellow freshman Sarah Hunt (Reno, Nev.) cleared a double into right field putting her on second with only one out. The Aggies made their second pitching change of the game putting in Jamie Nussbaum who proceeded to walk her first batter which was Rainwater and then hit senior Kari Stockstill (Huntington Beach, Calif.) to bring in Puzey to put Nevada up 5-1. After the forced score, NMSU re-entered starting pitcher Kim Watson. Watson was able to redeem herself getting the Aggies out of the inning, striking out two consecutive batters.
The bottom of the sixth inning seemed ominous as a similar situation began to present itself. As in the first game of the double-header, where NMSU tied the game in the sixth all scored in two outs, the Pack was again looking at two Aggies on base with two outs. This time Nevada didn't flinch and Rainwater made a tough catch on a foul ball outside of the first base line look easy.
For the first time in the series, Nevada had the lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Up 5-1, the Wolf Pack quickly dismissed the first Aggie batter of the inning. Things got a little tricky after McPherson walked the next batter and then Rishelle Gastelum put a hit out into centerfield for a double putting runners on second and third. On the next batter, Stockstill caught a line drive at third base, catching Randall and then turning over the double play over to Rainwater at first.
After a couple of long weekends of travel, Nevada returns home for the final two weekends of the regular season. First up for the Pack will be a make-up double-header on Wednesday at 1 p.m. to make up for the previously postponed games. Next weekend will be a return to WAC play as the Pack hosts the WAC leading Hawai'i Wahine in a double header on Friday and a single game on Saturday both beginning at 1 p.m.