Nevada softball clinches WAC title

The Nevada softball team claimed its first Western Athletic Conference regular season championship on Saturday.

The Wolf Pack beat San Jose State 3-2 in game one of a doubleheader to clinch the WAC championship. The Pack swept the Spartans in the doubleheader with a 5-4 win in eight innings to complete the series sweep.

With the title, Nevada earned the No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament, which begins Wednesday in Honolulu. On Thursday, Nevada will play the winner of Wednesday's No. 6/7 game, which will be San Jose State against Utah State.

Nevada improved to 40-14 overall and finished the WAC with a 16-2 record. The Pack ran its winning streak to 12 straight games, the longest streak in program history.

Senior Jordan McPherson tossed a complete game in the first game of the day to help Nevada clinch the title. She gave up eight hits and two runs while walking just one and striking out four. McPherson improved to 14-9 on the year.

Nevada got its offense in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Danielle Patrick, an RBI single from Tyler Schafer and an RBI triple by Noelle Micka.

In game two, Nevada trailed 4-0 before battling back late in the game.

The Wolf Pack made it 4-1 in the sixth as Douglas High graduate Brittany Puzey was hit by a pitch and then scored on Vanessa Briones' RBI double.

In the seventh, Sam Bias led off with a triple and the Pack loaded the bases with nobody out as Kelsey Starr was hit by a pitch and Kym Silagyi singled. Danielle Patrick grounded out to score Bias and advance the runners before Michelle Beach hit a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to plate Starr and make it a 4-3 game with two outs. Micka then singled, scoring Silagyi from second and tying the game.

Nevada won it in the eighth as Starr came through with an RBI double with two outs that scored Bias.

That made a winner out of senior Richelle Villescas, who came on in relief of Katie Holverson to get the win. Villescas improved to 7-0 on the season.

BASEBALL

The Nevada baseball ended up splitting a doubleheader against Louisiana Tech, losing the opener 9-3 and winning the comeback 8-4. The opener was the completion of a suspended game in which Nevada was leading 3-2 in the seventh inning. Nevada is now 26-19 and 13-9 in the WAC.

In the nightcap, Jason Sadoian's double off the center field wall scored David Ciarlo from first base to tie the game at 1-1. Ciarlo reached after collecting a single with one down in the inning.

Nevada broke the tie with four runs in the seventh to move in front 5-1. Mike Hale's sixth home run of the season and second of the day scored designated hitter Terry Walsh who started the inning with a single to make it 3-1. With two down Dayton's Matt Bowman doubled score former Western Nevada College standout Tyson Jaquez and Sadoian.

The Wolf Pack scored three times on a bases clearing double by Shaun Kort in the ninth to make it 8-4.

Wolf Pack starter Kyle Howe gave up four runs on 11 hits and struck out a season-high eight in 7.1 innings on the mound. Reliever Chris Garcia earned his first save of the year tossing 1.2 innings of one hit shutout baseball. Hale and Sadoian each had three and two hits respectively to lead the team.

Two errors in the bottom of the seventh inning resulted in Louisiana Tech scoring three unearned runs on just one hit in the opener. Errors by third baseman Jason Rodriguez and shortstop Kevin Rodland along with a double by designated hitter Drew Bunting scored the three runs as Louisiana Tech moved in front 5-3.

The Bulldogs scored four more runs in the eighth to make the final score 9-3. Bunting again had the big hit in the inning with a double that plated two of the runs.

Hale's fifth home run of the season over right field fence leading off the top of the second put the Wolf Pack on top 1-0.

In the sixth the Wolf Pack scored a run to tie the game at 2-2. With one down, Bowman walked and promptly stole second base. Rodriguez followed with an infield single to put runners on the corners for Kort. Kort's sixth sacrifice fly of the season scored Bowman and it was 2-2.

Rodland broke the tie with a solo home run to give Nevada a 3-2 lead in the seventh. Wolf Pack starter Rod Scurry was a victim of the rain as he allowed just two runs on six hits and struck out six before the weather delay forced him from the game as he could not return to the mound on Saturday.

Rodriguez collected three of the Pack's seven hits in the game. Bowman saw his 10-game hit streak come to an end, going 0-for-3 at the plate.

The two squads will conclude the series today with a doubleheader, beginning at 11 a.m.

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