Sophomores Jenny Rechel and Heather Septon slugged home runs, but Western Nevada College lost both ends of a softball doubleheader to seventh-ranked College of Southern Nevada by identical 11-3 scores on Friday in Henderson.
The wins moved the Coyotes (16-6) into a first-place tie with College of Southern Idaho (17-7) in the Scenic West Athletic Conference standings. WNC’s SWAC record dropped to 6-15.
“They are just tough outs one through nine, and we had a pretty hard time getting Mikela Manewa out today,” WNC coach Leah Wentworth said of the Coyotes’ No. 3 hitter, who was a combined 7 for 7 with five runs scored and four RBI in the two games.
Rechel hit a solo homer in the opening game, while Septon delivered a two-run shot in game two.
In the opener, the Wildcats tallied the first run as Madi Gonzalez doubled to start the game and scored on Makenzie Hospodka’s base hit. But CSN came back with two runs in its half of the first on a two-run homer by Manewa. The lead didn’t last long as Jenny Rechel homered to right to begin the second, tying the score at 2.
Rechel’s homer came on an outside pitch from Aly Lamboo, something the Wildcats have been emphasizing in practice.
“It was nice to see something we have been working on in practice put into play,” Wentworth said.
However, the Coyotes (23-7 overall) took control by scoring four runs in their half of the second and wound up scoring in every inning.
After not walking a batter in her previous game, WNC starting pitcher Katilyn Covione issued four free passes. She allowed 11 runs in 4 2/3 innings.
The Wildcats were without top pitcher Carlee Beck, who will likely miss a couple weeks due to swelling and soreness in her right forearm.
Lamboo picked up the win for the Coyotes, surrendering just four hits in five innings. She walked three and fanned one.
Gonzalez collected half of WNC’s hits, going 2 for 3 with a run scored and a RBI.
The Wildcats also lost game two, 11-3.
Sophomore pitcher Lindsey Ashbaugh took the loss, giving up 11 runs in five innings. Seven of the runs were earned.
Offensively for the Wildcats, Rechel went 2 for 2 with two runs scored, while Septon was 2 for 2 and accounted for all three of WNC’s RBI.
Septon’s two-run homer off Megan Mello with two outs in the second inning put WNC ahead 2-1. Septon also knocked in a run in the third inning, pulling the Wildcats to within 5-3.
Makenzie Hospodka, Meghan Hospodka and Cara McCarthy each had a hit for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats (9-21 overall) led 2-1 in the second inning and only trailed 5-3 in the top of the fourth before CSN scored three times in the fourth and sixth innings to end the game.
Former Wildcat catcher Sydney Darby scored twice in the opener and was 1 for 3 with a run scored in game two.
“It’s tough to see her on the other side,” Wentworth said. “We did a pretty job against her, but at the same time, there are other tough outs in their lineup.”
The teams wrap up their four-game series with a doubleheader starting at noon Saturday.