Editor’s note: This story has been corrected from its original verision.
Lindsey Ashbaugh and Katilyn Covione pitched solid games, but Western Nevada College’s offense was nowhere to be found Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats’ No. 2 and No. 3 starters allowed just nine runs in the Scenic West Athletic Conference doubleheader, but WNC fell to Snow, 5-3 and 4-1, at Edmonds Sports Complex.
WNC has now lost seven of its last eight entering next weekend’s series against rival Southern Nevada in Henderson. WNC is now 5-14 in conference play.
“The pitchers gave us an opportunity to win the games,” WNC coach Leah Wentworth said. “We played competitive softball today. It came down to (lack of) production by the offense. It wasn’t that we weren’t putting the ball into play or getting hits, it was a matter of stringing them together. When you lose close games like we did today, it comes down to little things.”
Western left 16 runners on base in the doubleheader. It was a lack of production from the first four hitters in both games that did the Wildcats in. Makenzie Hospodka, Madi Gonzalez, Meghan Hospodka and Jenny Rechel went a combined 3-for-15 in the opener. In the nightcap, the Hospodkas, Gonzalez and Ashbaugh were a combined 2-for-13. The two groups scored one run and drove in just one run on the day. Not the type of production that will win you games.
In the opener, WNC staked Ashbaugh to an early 1-0 lead when Makenzie Hospodka reached on an error and eventually scored on a single by Rechel. Snow went ahead 2-1 with single runs in the third and fourth thanks to run-scoring hits by Nicole Weiss and Renee Fagg.
Snow broke the game open in the fifth, scoring three runs and knocking Ashbaugh out of the circle in the process. Kenzie Rasmussen singled in a run to make it 3-1. Covione came on and gave up a one-out two-run single to Elise Sutherland to make it 5-1. Covione retired the next two hitters and breezed through the sixth and seventh innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Wildcats loaded the bases on a single by Cara McCarthy, a walk to Hali Bennion and an error. Belle Stoddard escaped the jam by retiring Meghan Hospodka on an infield roller.
WNC kept the pressure on in the sixth.
With one out, Ashbaugh singled and advanced to second on a single by Andi Lee. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Covione which made it 5-3. Stoddard escaped further damage by retiring Bennion on a pop-up to first.
WNC went out easily in the seventh.
In the nightcap, Covione allowed single runs in the first four innings, as the Badgers built a 4-0 lead. The right-hander allowed just two baserunners over the final three innings.
Meanwhile, WNC struggled to get the key hit.
In the first, WNC left runners at second and third when Rechel rolled out to first. WNC had a chance to score in the second, but Lee hesitated between third and home when a pitch by pitcher Ashley Kay went awry. The ball hit off the backstop and shot out toward the middle of the infield. Lee hesitated, got caught in a rundown and was called out for running out of the baseline trying to avoid the tag of the Snow third baseman. In the fourth, WNC put runners on first and third with two outs, but Covione was retired to end the threat.
WNC finally got on the board in the sixth against reliever Taylor Allman when Lee hit a one-out single and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Cara McCarthy to make it 4-1. WNC wet out in order in the seventh.
Despite allowing 11 hits, Wentworth praised the work of Covione.
“She did a great job,” Wentworth said. “She kept hitters off balance. When I brought her in, I wasn’t sure if she would be in our rotation, but from Day 1 she made adjustments.”
Lee and Katelyn Bomar led the offense with two hits apiece.
Maher HR beats WNC
RANGELY, Colo, — Former Carson High football and baseball standout Luke Maher hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to snap a 4-all tie and give Colorado Northwestern a 6-4 win over Western Nevada in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Colorado Northwestern took a 3-0 lead with one in the first and two in the third off Max Karnos. Bryce Lich drove in the first run on an infield out and two wild pitches scored the runs in the third. Western evened the game at 3 in the fifth on a solo homer by Jake Bennett and a two-run dinger by Joey Crunkliton. Colorado made it 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth when Jake Morgan hit a solo homer. Alex Fife tied the game in the top of the sixth with a two-out run-scoring single, which set the stage for Maher.
Wayne Rochlin walked and scored ahead of Maher’s HR. Karnos retired the next three hitters.
Conor Harber, Crunkilton and Fife led the offense with two hits apiece.
Christian Stolo allowed three hits over six innings to lead the Wildcats to a 5-1 victory over Colorado Northwestern in the nightcap.
The Wildcats took the lead for good when Crunkilton scored on Sam Hall’s double in the fourth. Later in the same inning, Tony Roque’s sacrifice fly put WNC ahead 3-1. Roque doubled and scored on a pair of wild pitches in the seventh inning. Harber’s groundout plated Jake Bennett to complete the scoring.
Hall and Connor Klen each provided three hits.
Spencer Greer replaced Stolo in the seventh inning and worked the final two innings, giving up two hits while fanning two. Stolo struck out three and walked two.
WNC is 3-3 in SWAC play and 14-8 overall. The Spartans picked up their first SWAC victory in six contests.