Home Stand Starts with Sweep for Softball
April 26, 2006
Reno, Nev. - With eight of its final 10 games left at home, the University of Nevada softball team got things off to a good start picking up its first sweep since Utah State back on April 7-8 Wednesday. Nevada won a double-header against Sacramento State at Idlewild Park 9-1 and 6-5, improving to 22-28 (5-7 WAC) while Sac State dropped to 27-20 and is now 2-3 against Nevada this season.
After breaking a five game losing streak this weekend at New Mexico State, the Wolf Pack kept it rolling when it downed the Hornets in the first game 9-1, with the mercy run-rule taking effect in the fifth inning. The game was pretty much all Nevada as the Pack tallied 10 hits over Sac State's three, while scoring four runs in the second, one in the third and four in the fifth. Overall, Nevada had six different players score the team's eight RBI in the game.
Senior Candice Rainwater (Dana Hills, Calif.) hit her sixth homerun of the year in the bottom of the fifth to put the Pack on the path to its first victory of the day. The shot was a deep hit over the left field fence scoring two RBI bringing in fellow senior Ashley Ablahani (Las Vegas, Nev.) from first. Rainwater finished the game at 2-3, with two runs and two RBI. After two more Nevada batters got on base sophomore Tyler Schafer (Star, Idaho) hit a neat shot through the middle of the field for a two run double that ended the game. Schafer only recently returned to the starting lineup this weekend after breaking her finger the last time Nevada played the Hornets back on March 11.
Sophomore Jordan McPherson (Simi Valley, Calif.) was the winning pitcher for Nevada, improving to 14-17 on the year. McPherson earned the solo run by Sac State, struck out two batters in just four innings of play. Jennifer Fryou took the loss dropping to 2-4 on the season.
In the second game, Nevada had to come from behind twice to get the win. It was a lot tougher for the Pack who found itself down 2-0 early. Sacramento State scored in the first inning when Amy Jo Mckenzie singled to RBI both runs with only one out on the board. The Wolf Pack was able to cool down the rally however, squeaking out of the inning with one Hornet left on base.
After the quick strike of offense on the first at-bats of the game, neither team scored again until Nevada put up two of its own in the bottom of the fourth. Senior Kari Stockstill (Huntington Beach, Calif.) singled to score one run while freshman Sarah Hunt (Reno, Nev.) was able to advance to third on the play. Hunt was out on the next play in a fielder's choice play, but Stockstill was able to advance and a senior Cindy Elkins (Reno, Nev.) brought her across the plate with a single in the next at-bat.
While the Hornets put up one run in the very next inning, Nevada answered with two more runs putting the Pack up 4-3. Sac State found a way to tie the game up again in the top of the seventh inning with two outs when Lindy Winkler doubled for one RBI and then took a 5-4 lead when McKenzie brought in another run with a single.
Nevada made all the right moves in the bottom of the seventh as the first two batters of the inning, Hunt and Stockstill, both singled to get on first and second base. Senior Lindsey Hall (Avondale, Ariz.) then hit a sacrifice bunt with perfect execution to advance both runners into scoring position. Elkins then stepped up and on cue blasted a shot just outside of the shortstop's reach to score both runs and take the win.
Rainwater was the Pack's winning pitcher improving to 6-8 on the year while Reno native Michele Bochenski was the losing pitcher dropping to 3-2.
The Wolf Pack will look to keep it rolling this weekend when its host WAC foe Hawai'i. The Rainbow Wahine are currently the third place team in the WAC and has lost the last two consecutive meetings in Reno. The two teams will play a double-header beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday at Idlewild and a single game on Saturday also at 1 p.m.