Wildcats frustrated after splitting DH | NevadaAppeal.com

Wildcats frustrated after splitting DH

Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaappeal.com

Normally Western Nevada College’s softball team would have been overjoyed with a double-header split.

Not this year, and especially not Friday afternoon.

The Wildcats, who have set a school record with 12 wins this year, rallied to win the opening game of the Scenic West doubleheader against Snow College, 8-5, but gave up seven runs in the top of the seventh and dropped an 8-3 decision in the nightcap at Edmonds Sports Complex.

The teams will conclude the four-game series with a doubleheader today starting at noon.

“Absolutely I’m frustrated,” WNC coach Leah Wentworth said. “To end it the way we did. We got too comfortable and we lost our intensity. There is no reason to feel comfortable with a two-run lead. We should have had two outs to start the seventh inning (of the second game). We didn’t do the little things.”

Ali Lostra, the second-game starter in the circle, cruised through the first six innings, allowing six hits and a single run. Her teammates had staked her to the 3-1 lead by scoring unearned runs in the second, third and fifth innings.

“I was just getting ahead and trying to make them swing at my pitches,” said Lostra, who only faced more than four batters in an inning once through the first six innings. “They were just hitting my pitches (in the seventh). I felt like I was hitting my spots.”

The seventh started in ominous fashion when Snow’s Rachael Hunsaker struck out, but reached first when catcher Alia Cox was unable to dig the low pitch out. Twelve batters and seven hits later, Snow had taken control of the game.

Lostra gave up three hits and three runs in the decisive seventh inning. Jordan Garcia, who threw so well in relief to g et the win in the opener, was no mystery to Snow in the second game. She faced seven batters and was credited with getting one out en route to giving up four runs. She was pulled in favor of Lexi Alley, who got the third out of the inning.

Wentworth said she wasn’t calling pitches toward the end of the game, and couldn’t say whether Lostra ran out of gas.

The Wildcats weren’t through, and kept fighting to the very end.

Jenny Quam was hit by pitcher Kate Greenberg. Quam, the Wildcats’ ultra talented leadoff hitter was wobbly and had to be escorted off the field. Her status for today’s game is unknown.

After Melanie Pfeiffer popped up, Niki DiSera walked. A walk to Taleas Marble loaded the bases with one out. Greenberg rebounded to strike out Lostra and Jordan Thomas to end the game.

The Wildcats didn’t waste their opportunities in the latter stages of the first game.

Alley, who was feeling under the weather, gave up five runs and eight hits in 3.1 innings as Snow bolted to a 5-2 lead. That was the extent of the Badgers’ offense, as Garcia allowed just two hits over the final 3.2 innings.

The Wildcats took a 6-5 lead with four runs in the last of the fourth.

Lostra led off the inning with a solo homer to left-centerfield which ignited the rally.

Jordan Thomas and Tori Crowell followed with back-to-back singles. Cox dropped down a sacrifice bunt, and Snow pitcher Kimber Choffin threw wildly to third trying to force out Thomas, who ended up scoring on the play to make it 5-4. Crowell and Cox moved to second and third, respectively. Quam followed with an infield single to load the bases. Melanie Pfeiffer followed with a run-coring hit, and DiSera’s sacrifice fly gave WNC the lead for good.

A run-scoring single by Quam and an error in the sixth completed the scoring.

“It definitely helped (the comeback),” Lostra said.

“It was huge,” Wentworth said. “We started making adjustments at the plate. We were mishitting the ball and taking too many strikes early in the at-bat. We finally came to life.”

Garcia’s work in the circle was top-notch. She struck out two, walked one and hit a batter. She did a good job of controlling the lower portion of the strike zone.

“She moved the ball around well,” Wentworth said. “She has good movement on her pitches.”

Quam led WNC with three hits in the opener, while Pfeiffer added two. No WNC player had multiple hits in the second game.