LOS ANGELES The Nevada softball team was one out away from advancing to Sunday’s championship game. Instead, the Wolf Pack fell into the losers’ bracket with a 6-4 loss to UCLA in nine innings on Saturday at the NCAA Regional.
No. 20 Nevada led 4-3 entering the seventh inning but No. 3 UCLA was able to push a run across and tie the game. The Bruins then scored twice in the ninth to win it.
Nevada fell to 43-17 overall and will play again Saturday. The Pack will take on the winner of the Cal State Fullerton-Purdue game, which is scheduled to start at 6:45.
Richelle Villescas (7-1) took the loss despite seven strong inning in relief of Katie Holverson.
Nevada had eight hits against the Bruins but left nine runners on base.
UCLA jumped out to a 2-0 lead early as the Bruins’ Megan Langenfeld delivered a two-run single in the top of the first inning. Nevada got out of the jam without any more damage, however, as Sam Bias caught a GiOnna DiSalvatore line drive and then fired to first to double off Langenfeld.
Nevada got on the board in the second inning. Sam Bias led off and was hit by a pitch. After Kelsey Starr walked, Kym Silagyi struck out and Nevada had runners on the corners with one out. Freshman Danielle Patrick blistered a line drive double down the left-field line, scoring Bias and moving Starr to third. After Sarah Hunt walked, Noelle Micka singled up the middle to score Starr and Patrick and tie the game.
That chased UCLA starter Anjelica Selden and Brittany Puzey greeted reliever Langenfeld with a single to left that gave Nevada a 4-3 lead as Hunt scored on the play. Puzey fouled off six pitches in the 10-pitch at-bat.
Senior Richelle Villescas replaced Nevada starter Katie Holverson in the second inning and kept the Bruins off balance. Villescas faced just one over the minimum through the five inning.
In the sixth, UCLA got a real threat going after Krista Colburn singled to open up the inning. After Amanda Kamekona sacrificed Colburn to second, Langenfeld walked to put two on with only run out. But Villescas got DiSalvatore to hit a ground ball to third and Bias stepped on the bag to retire Colburn and then fired to first for the Pack’s third double play of the game.
But UCLA got the game tied in the seventh inning. Three singles and two Nevada errors allowed the Bruins to put one across and tie it at 4.
NOTES: Juniors Kym Silagyi and Brittany Puzey moved into a tie for seventh on the career games played list. They are tied with Kari Stockstill (2003-06) at 180 games ... Puzey is tied with Candice Rainwater for fourth in career games started at 183 ... Nevada was the home team in the game after winning a coin flip.
For more on the Nevada softball team and the NCAA Regional, visit www.nevadawolfpack.com and the Wolf Pack’s “NCAA Region Headquarters.” The online feature has stories, stats, photos and more, including a daily blog from senior infielder Kristin Stith.