Jenny Rechel put on a show Saturday.
The Fallon grad pounded out five hits, scored two runs and drove in two to help lead the Western Nevada College softball team to its first series win against Snow College (Utah).
A doubleheader split on Saturday at Edmonds Sports Complex in Carson City gave the Wildcats a 3-1 series edge. WNC swept the Badgers on Friday, but had never took more than a game from Snow College in a four-game series.
WNC will conclude the regular season with a four-game set at rival Southern Nevada College in Henderson on Friday and Saturday.
On Saturday, Sydney Darby (Spanish Springs High) knocked in three runs and Jennifer Quam (North Valleys High) scored twice and made a game-saving catch to back the complete-game pitching effort of Carlee Beck in a 5-3 victory.
Snow, however, rallied to win game two on the strength of Sydney Butler’s sixth-inning grand slam, 9-7.
“We have good pitch selection, we’re hitting balls when we need them and when we have runners on base, we’re executing, so it’s helping in the late season right now,” Quam said.
With their seventh victory in 11 games, the Wildcats ran their fifth-place SWAC record to 15-27 and gained some more confidence and momentum as the Region 18 tournament nears.
With the Badgers ahead 2-1, WNC mounted a rally.
The Wildcats used a small ball attack to trigger a third-inning rally. Quam started the inning with a bunt single, then stole second base. Rechel’s bunt just in front of the plate sent Quam to third, and Rechel beat the throw to first when catcher Danika Gough’s throw glanced off of her. The errant throw allowed Quam to score the tying run.
Darby’s single to left moved Rechel to third base, and Rechel scored on Nielsen’s bases-loaded groundout, putting WNC back in front 3-2.
Beck bounced back from her rough third inning by pitching a scoreless fourth.
WNC added to its lead in the fourth when Darby ripped a two-out double to center, scoring Alexia Alley and Beck with the team’s fourth and fifth runs.
Lostra started in the circle for the Wildcats in game two, with the intention of duplicating her performance on Friday. But the Badgers strung together three hits to score twice in the opening frame.
The Wildcats got a run back in their half of the first when Nielsen bounced a two-out base hit to center, scoring Darby.
In the second inning, WNC went ahead 3-2 on Rechel’s two-run double just out of the reach of center fielder Kelsey Simmonds’ glove. Lostra started the two-out rally with a base hit to center, then Quam reached base on a dropped fly ball.
The Badgers loaded the bases with two outs against Lostra in the fourth, but Sara Park hit the first pitch to Nielsen at first for an unassisted third out, keeping the score at 3-2.
Quam made her final appearance at Edmonds extra special in the fourth inning when she hit her first homer for the Wildcats. The blast gave WNC a 4-2 lead.
“I couldn’t even tell you how it got out,” Quam said. “It was a nice pitch, and I’ve been working hitting away during practice this week, and it paid off.”
Two errors and two free passes set up Snow for a bountiful sixth inning. After scoring an unearned run, a bases loaded walk to McAfee tied the score at 4, then Butler crushed a pitch over the left-field fence for a grand slam and an 8-4 Badger lead.
“It’s always tough to go four games against the same team and to continue to throw the hitters off and have dominance,” Wentworth said.
Rechel led the Wildcats by going 4-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. Darby, Quam and Nielsen each chipped in two hits, and Quam also scored three runs.