Local sports roundup: WNC softball swept: Nevada baseball wins
Whether they were called upon to swing away or lay down a bunt, the Salt Lake Bruins were up to the task en route to a Scenic West Athletic Conference softball doubleheader sweep of Western Nevada College on Friday at Edmonds Sports Complex in Carson City.
The Bruins hit a pair of three-run homers and beat out five well-placed bunt singles to take the six-inning opener, 12-2, then used an 11-hit attack and six shutout innings from freshman pitcher Elisha Jahnke for a 5-2 victory in game two.
“They definitely have good bat control, and they were able to find the holes in the field and put the ball in the right place, so that was really difficult for us,” said WNC coach Leah Wentworth. “There were some adjustments that our defense needed to make, particularly on the corners, to try to minimize or stop some of the short game that we weren’t making.”
Bayleee Reeves also dominated in the circle for the Bruins in the opener. She allowed just five hits, including only Briauna Carter’s double after the second inning. She walked four and struck out one.
WNC freshman starting pitcher Kristina George escaped a bit of a jam in the first inning. With runners on first and second bases, she fanned two Bruins on three pitches.
In the bottom of the first, the Wildcats struck first when Makaylee Jaussi slid under the tag of catcher KyRae Kogianes on Carter’s bunt down the first-base line.
However, Salt Lake erupted for seven runs in the second inning. Raeana Gall delivered a two-run single and Riana Splinter lined a three-run homer over the center-field fence.
The Wildcats positioned themselves for a big inning in the second but left the bases loaded after scoring a run. Jaussi’s base hit to center plated Gabriella Canibeyaz as WNC closed to within 7-2.
WNC stranded at least one baserunner in the first five innings, including five in the first two frames.
“We just have to find a way to make it happen when we have the runners in scoring position,” Wentworth said. “The opportunities are there. We just need to increase the focus and really step up and find those holes.”
Salt Lake extended its lead to 9-2 with RBI singles by Karly Bunderson in the third and Corinne Cleverly in the fifth.
Kogianes’ three-run homer to left in the sixth increased Salt Lake’s lead to 12-2.
In the second game, the Bruins capitalized on two first-inning errors to score four runs.
Gall’s base hit deflected by a diving Katilyn Covione at second brought home the Bruins’ first run. Kogiones added a sacrifice fly to center, a RBI single by Megan Reed made it 3-0 and Jaussi misjudged a infield single with a lot spin on it to allow Reed to score the fourth run of the inning.
After Salt Lake scored the four unearned runs, Wildcat starting pitcher Nicole Lesniak settled into an out-producing rhythm, retiring seven out of eight hitters.
“I thought Nicole did a great job. She started out with four unearned runs and came back and really shut them down besides the one other run they generated,” Wentworth said. “An effort like that really gives us a chance to win if we strengthen up on the defensive side and make the other team earn all of the runs that come across the board.”
Salt Lake strung together several hits in the fourth to go ahead 5-0.
Lauren Lesniak totaled two of the Wildcats’ five hits.
Nevada takes over first
in Mountain West
LAS VEGAS – The 29th-ranked Nevada baseball team used a four-run seventh inning to rally past UNLV, snapping a six-game losing skid to its rivals behind a 5-4 win Friday night at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. Nevada improves to 5-1 in one-run games this season.
The Wolf Pack (12-1, 4-0) was held scoreless with just one hit through four innings and trailed 4-1 entering the seventh frame.
Junior LHP Christian Stolo – a two-way player and Reno native — made his first plate appearance of the season, hitting a two-RBI single to catapult Nevada into the lead.
Junior LHP Cameron Rowland made his first career Division I start, allowing three earned runs through five innings of work. Sophomore RHP Evan McMahan earned the win following 1.2 innings of relief, while junior closer Adam Whitt of Carson slammed the door shut by no-hitting the Rebels in the eighth and ninth.
“This was great perseverance by our guys tonight,” said head coach Jay Johnson.
“We overcame a lot of adversity early in the game in a hostile environment. I am proud of them for staying with it and focusing on their play.”
Nevada moved into sole possession of first place in the Mountain West standings with the victory. The Pack also registered its first victory over the Rebels since Feb. 14, 2013
Carson at home today
The Carson Senators host Reed in a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.
Carson opened its season with a 9-7 win over Damonte Ranch on Thursday. After the Reed games, Carson will be off until it travels to Sacramento for the Victory Preseason TOC.