WNC splits twin-bill
Western Nevada College did its best Jekyll and Hyde imitation during Friday’s Scenic West Athletic Conference doubleheader at Edmonds Sports Complex.
A strong pitching performance by Carlee Beck and a homer by Meghan Hospodka carried WNC to a 3-1 win over Snow in the first game, but Snow turned the tables on WNC and grabbed a 12-4 mercy rule win in the nightcap.
The teams conclude their four-game series with a noon doubleheader today at Edmonds. WNC is 5-11 in league.
Beck threw six shutout innings in the opener before allowing Snow’s only run in the seventh. She fanned three and walked four. She worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second and a first and second jam in the sixth. She did a great job of spotting her pitches.
“I did better than I did last week against North Idaho that’s for sure,” Beck said. “I was hitting my spots better. I worked on all my pitches this week. I just concentrated on not walking a lot of batters.”
Still, Beck may have been headed to extra innings had it not been for Hospodka’s heroics.
Western Nevada had been held in check by Belle Stoddard for the first five innings. In that span, Stoddard fanned two and didn’t walk a batter. She faced just two batters over the minimum, retiring 15 of 16 in one stretch, including 12 straight at one point.
In the last of the sixth, Beck walked and was replaced on the basepaths by Katelyn Bomar, who stole second base. After Makenzie Hospodka struck out, Madi Gonzalez bunted for a single, sending Bomar to third. On a 1-0 count, Meghan Hospodka drilled the next pitch over the left-centerfield fence to snap the scoreless tie and give WNC a 3-0 lead.
“She threw it inside and I turned on it,” Meghan Hospodka said. “It was perfect timing. She had good control. I felt I made good contact, but I didn’t know it was out until I reached first base.”
“When you play defense like we did in the first game, it helps your starting pitcher and gives the hitters an opportunity to come through,” WNC coach Leah Wentworth said. “Meghan had a big hit in a big spot, and it really helped us.”
The second game was a different story for Beck & Co. Beck’s control was a bit off, and she allowed five runs in the first two innings.
Renee Fagg, who went 3-for-4 in the nightcap, doubled to open the game, She moved to third on a single by Ally McAfee, who promptly stole second base. After a roller to second, Nicole Weiss singled home both runners. Elise Sutherland and Karlee Manzione also contributed run-scoring singles to give the Badgers a 4-0 lead in the first.
In the second, back-to-back triples by McAfee and Syd Butler made it 5-0.
Western got three back in the second.
Lindsey Ashbaugh singled and ended up scoring when the Snow right fielder threw wildly to third in an attempt to throw her out on Katilyn Covione’s single. Hali Bennion, who has been mired in a slump, pounded a two-run homer to make it 5-3.
After a scoreless third, Beck gave up one in the fourth on a homer by Fagg and six more in the top of the fifth which made it 12-3.
“The big thing with Carlee is mental,” Wentworth said. “She doesn’t believe she can go both games and keep people off balance. I know her elbow is a little tender. If she could pitch both games, it makes us a stronger team, especially defensively.”
Western scored its final run in the fifth, but it wasn’t enough to extend the game. Bennion led off the fifth with her second homer of the game and third of the season.
“I’ve been struggling at the plate,” said Bennion, who was 2-for-25 entering the game. “I’ve been having issues. Leah and I have been working really hard on things.”
“She has been struggling at the plate,” Wentworth said. “She has been pulling off the ball. I’ve been trying to give her some tools to give her a base, and it all came through today. I’m really happy for her.”
Gonzalez also had two hits in the nightcap for WNC.
Friday’s game at Colorado Norhwestern was postponed. The teams will attempt to play doubleheaders today and Sunday.