WNC softball swept again
BY DARRELL MOODY
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
First-year programs usually suffer quite a few growing pains, and Western Nevada College’s softball program is no exception.
North Idaho College completed a four-game sweep of Western Nevada with 8-2 and 12-0 Scenic West wins at Centennial Park. The nightcap was stopped after five innings because of the eight-run rule.
Western Nevada fell to 4-8 and will hit the road to play Snow College Friday and Saturday in Emphraim, Utah.
The one positive on Saturday is that Western Nevada made North Idaho go the distance in the first game, something it was unable to do on Friday.
“We came out really good in that one,” WNC coach Scott Rasner said. “We had only four or five errors compared to nine or 10 (on Friday). This is a scrappy group of girls. They are trying their best.
“Basically (it’s baby steps) right now. We’re dealing with more experienced, older teams. We definitely have some growing to do.”
The biggest hole WNC has is in the circle. Alyson Herman is the only healthy pitcher, and she can’t shoulder the load entirely. Ambar Huish has been ill and she was hit by a ball, so the coaching staff opted not to throw her on Saturday.
“We couldn’t get anybody in here over the break,” Rasner said. “We’re going to bring in a couple of pitchers (next fall).”
In the opener, North Idaho’s Karri Johnson silenced WNC on just four hits.
One of those came in the first when Alisha Perry doubled home Frances Estrada, who had walked, tying the game at 1.
Western Nevada lost a great chance to go ahead in the bottom of the second. Devin Steelman hit a lead-off triple, but was left there when Johnson retired Ashley Williams, Herman and Alex Arciniega without the ball leaving the infield.
North Idaho stretched its lead to 4-1 with a run in the fourth thanks to a walk, an error by Herman and an infield out by Renae Kimball, and two in the top of the fifth on Lauren Maloney’s towering two-run homer to left.
The Wildcats cut the lead to 4-2 in the last of the fifth when Kelsie Fahr’s sacrifice fly scored pinch-runner Brittany Naastad from third base.
That was the last of WNC’s offense. Johnson retired the last six batters of the game, and her teammates scored an unearned run in the sixth and added three more in the seventh.
In the nightcap, the Wildcats managed just five hits off Nina Gonzalez and never got a runner past second base.
Brooke Springer’s infield out gave North Idaho a 1-0 lead in the second, and the Cardinals sent 14 batters to the plate in the third en route to a 10-run inning and an 11-0 lead.
Brianna Harbour swung the big stick for the Cardinals in the third with a three-run double and run-scoring single.
Springer scored North Idaho’s final run in the fourth on a throwing error by Steelman.
– Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com, or by calling 881-1281