April 28, 2006
Reno, Nev. - The University of Nevada softball team won its fifth straight game when it downed the University of Hawai`i in both games of a double-header at Idlewild Park on Friday. Nevada won 7-4 and 4-3 over the WAC's current third-place team to improve to 24-28 (7-7 WAC), while Hawai`i drops to 25-19 (7- WAC). With the 4-3 win in the 10 inning second game, Nevada also evened out its record to 2-2 in extra inning games this season.
In similar fashion to its double-header wins over Sacramento State earlier this week, Nevada dominated the first game but followed with a thriller in the second. In game one, Nevada scored first, putting up all seven of its runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Rainbow Wahine actually out-hit the Wolf pack with 11 hits over the Pack's eight and committed less errors 2-3. The big problem for UH came its inability to take advantage of its opportunities as it stranded nine runners on base and had just three RBI.
While the game was scoreless in the first three-and-a-half innings, three hits for Hawai`i in the top of the fourth put the Pack in a precarious situation. Defense came up big in the inning when the potential scoring run for the Wahine when freshman Brittany Puzey (Carson City, Nev.) fired a shot from left field to fellow freshman Katie Stith (Chino Hills, Calif.) at home plate to catch Hawai`i's Kaulana Gould attempting to score from third. The Pack would end the inning with a Wahine left in scoring position on third base.
Then it was time for the Pack's offense to fire up. In the bottom of the inning, Nevada scored seven runs with five hits, leaving two on base while Hawai`i committed two costly turnovers. Seniors Brittany Lorenzen (Henderson, Nev.) and Candice Rainwater (Dana Hills, Calif.) hit back-to-back singles to get it started. Freshman Sarah Hunt (Reno, Nev.) the got to first base on a fielder's choice and Lorenzen was kept alive at third with shortstop Valana Manuma flubbed the throw to third. With the bases loaded, senior Kari Stockstill (Huntington Beach, Calif.) was robbed of her first homerun of the season when a deep shot to centerfield looked to be clear over the fence, but instead hit the top of one of the support posts falling back into the outfielder's hands. Although Stockstill's shot didn't make homerun status, it was a clean double that cleared the bases putting Nevada up 3-0.
It kept rolling for Nevada when a pitching change for Hawai`i brought the Pack's second out. Senior Cindy Elkins (Reno, Nev.) singled and senior Lindsey Hall (Avondale, Ariz.) walked, pinch-hitting for sophomore Tyler Schafer (Star, Idaho) who quickly returned to run at first. This time it was freshman Kymberly Silagyi (Chino, Calif.) hit a pretty double to score Stockstill and Elkins. After another Wahine pitching change led to another series of loaded bases, Lorenzen got two more RBI when an error on the catch at first base led to Schafer and Silagyi scoring.
Nevada then held Hawai`i scoreless until the top of the sixth inning when the Wahine put up all four of their runs with five hits, two of which were homeruns. Sophomore Jordan McPherson (Simi Valley, Calif.) had a stellar game pitching 6.1 innings without giving up a single run. McPherson had five strikeouts without walking anybody in 28 batters faced. Senior Robyn Ford-Feitz (Mission Viejo, Calif.) struggled in the sixth earning all four runs in .2 innings of work. Justine Smethurst took the loss giving up four runs, with only two earned, in 3.1 innings of pitching.
The face-off tensed up in the second game, the first extra innings game for the Wolf Pack since a 2-1 loss to Columbia in eight innings back on March 18 in the Capital Classic. Nevada took an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when again Hawai`i committed costly errors. Elkins made it to third off an error by the leftfielder off a typical single. Schafer then doubled in the next at-bat to score Elkins for the first run of the game. Silagyi then got on base when Wahine pitcher Courtney Baughman mis-played a catch and hesitated a throw to first on the very next play. Puzey then hit a sacrifice fly to score Schafer. Hunt then closed it out for Nevada with two outs, doubling to bring in Lorenzen from second.
The Pack then did not score for six innings as Hawai`i put up two runs in the top of the fourth and another in the top of the sixth. The first and last runs both came of single shot home runs. The game went on dead-locked until the bottom of the 10th Elkins singled, advanced to second off a sacrifice bunt by Schafer and scored off a double by Silagyi. McPherson again took the win improving to 16-17 on the year, going three innings with only one hit and four strikeouts against 10 batters.
The final game of the series will be played at Idlewild Park Saturday at 1 p.m.