WNC swept by North Idaho
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
The first home game in the history of Western Nevada College softball almost had to be put off to another day.
The clouds rolled down the Sierra Nevada Mountains on Friday, full of snow and freezing temperatures. But they never made it to Centennial Park, leaving the Wildcats with an opportunity to turn a doubleheader into a tripleheader and perhaps record the first home win for the start-up team.
But Scenic West Athletic Conference rival North Idaho, a team that one 27 games a year ago, had different plans.
The Wildcats (4-6 SWAC) fell 11-3 in a shortened, 8-run rule first game despite showing a bit of fight in the final inning led by Ambar Huish.
“Ambar was definitely pretty sick today, I was proud of her,” Wildcats coach Scott Rasner said. “She’s been sick all week, but she still wanted to come out and play. She came out and gave it all she could.”
The freshman, who was born in Carson City but graduated from Lowry High, drove a sharp-liner to third base in the fifth inning that got through the glove of Brandi Christopher and rolled to left field. Huish stole second, just getting under the tag, before advancing to third on a grounder to the shortstop.
Not wanting to stop there, she made it home when a ball fell in the dirt for strike three to Ashley Williams, who tried to take first base on the play. Cardinals catcher Renae Kimbell fired the ball to first, but as soon she wound up for the throw, Huish was on her way home to put the game at 11-2.
But the deficit was too large for the Wildcats to overcome as they scored just one more run before the final out of the inning.
WNC struggled for much of the game both on the mound and defensively. Alyson Herman (4-4) gave up 12 hits and had just two strikeouts.
The defense missed a few opportunities to pick Herman up, though. WNC committed four errors in the game, including three in the fourth inning. Two of the errors came on consecutive at-bats when left fielder Francis Estrada misplayed two balls.
Rasner saw enough and called all nine players to the pitcher’s mound for a conference.
“I just told them they got to get it going here,” Rasner said. “I won’t say the exact words.”
North Idaho scored five runs in the inning, but WNC didn’t make another error for the rest of the game.
Coming into Friday, the Wildcats had just eight errors on the season.
“All last weekend we had very few errors so this was something kind of new to us,” Rasner said. “We were all kind of in shock on how to stop that bleeding going on. The only thing I can think of is the cold. They weren’t really nervous. I don’t know.”
The Wildcats dropped the second game 9-1. They moved the third game of the day back to its original date, today, and will play another double-header against North Idaho beginning at noon.