What a difference a day makes.
On Tuesday, Western Nevada College's softball team got timely hitting and solid pitching to sweep North Idaho College.
On Wednesday, Wildcats made costly errors, didn't hit the ball hardly at all and dropped the doubleheader, 10-0 and 11-2 at Edmonds Sports Complex.
The loss dropped Western Nevada to 5-10 in Scenic West Conference play.
"We've got a lot of hurting girls (injuries)," WNC coach Leah Wentworth said. "Some girls are struggling through some injuries. We're trying to do the best we can.
"Losing Jenny (Quam) really hurt. She's our offensive sparkplug a lot of the time. It forces us to move people around on defense which isn't to our advantage."
Quam, the team's leadoff hitter, was hit in the left wrist in the first inning of the first game, and left the field shortly thereafter for X-rays. Wentworth said she hadn't received any information from her sophomore centerfielder as of early Wednesday evening.
Defense, or the lack of it, put WNC in an early hole in the first inning of the opener.
After Lexi Alley retired the first two batters she faced, Shanika Sawyer walked. Shelby Carter and Des Tinoco both reached base on errors by third baseman Heather Septon, loading the bases. Kelsey LaVaut followed with a bases-clearing triple for a quick 3-0 lead.
"The errors in the first inning fueled the fire," Wentworth said. "We had a hard time getting hits that first game. Their defense made us work hard to get a hit."
In fact, Western didn't get a hit until the fifth off Emily Perlich, who finished with a two-hit shutout. Perlich retired 12 of the first 14 hitters she faced before allowing back-to-back singles to Carlee Beck and Alisha Nielsen. She managed to escape the inning unscathed, keeping the 6-0 lead intact.
"She's a great pitcher," Wentworth said of Perlich, who fanned nine and hit two batters in her gem. "She moves the ball around well.
"We were taking too many god pitches up there. We got ourselves behind in the count."
Perlich retired the last seven batters of the game.
The second game wasn't much better.
A one-out error by Maddi Gonzalez led the way to two unearned runs when Carter homered to left-center off Ali Lostra, who was nowhere near as effective as she was on Tuesday. She didn't appear to have her good change-up which kept North Idaho hitters off balance much of the game.
"Ali dislocated her finger last week," Wentworth said. "I think she had a hard time getting spin on the bill."
Lostra gave up a solo homer to LaVaut to lead off the second, and then was rocked for six runs in the fourth as NIC pulled ahead 9-0. The big blows were a two-run single by Heather Bishop and a triple by LaVaut. The ball that LaVaut hit could have been caught, but Alley badly misjudged the ball and could only watch it sail over here head to the fence.
WNC scored single runs in the third and fourth to close the deficit to 9-2. Gonzalez's two-out infield single plated Septon, who doubled with two outs to get the rally started.
In the fourth, Sydney Darby ripped her 11th homer of the season.
NIC added two in the fifth to make it 11-2, and when WNC went out in order, the game was stopped because of the mercy rule.
WNC managed just four hits in the second game off NIC's Laura Potts, who struck out two and didn't walk a batter.