SOFTBALL DROPS A PAIR OF GAMES AT NEVADA
RENO, Nev. -- Nevada combined for 13 runs and 12 hits in two games as the Wolf Pack swept a doubleheader from Sacramento State in non-conference softball action Wednesday afternoon at Hixson Park.
Since improving to a season-high two-games above .500 less than a week ago, the Hornets (8-12) have dropped six straight games. The losing streak is the longest for the program since the 2010 team seven straight.
What had been a bright spot during the first 14 games of the season, Sacramento State's pitching staff has not been as good during the losing streak, yielding a 6.00 ERA with 41 hits and 22 walks in 35.0 innings over the six-game span.
With the victories, Nevada improved to 14-9 overall and 4-2 on its home field.
Nevada scored six times in the second inning, and three more in the third, and the game was stopped after the Hornets' at-bat in the top of the fifth because of the eight-run mercy rule. Of the 10 hits the Wolf Pack had off Sacramento State starter Taylor Stroud, eight were singles and two were doubles.
With the game scoreless, and nobody on with one out in the bottom of the second, Nevada proceeded to get hits or walks from seven of the next eight batters and put up six runs in the process. The big blow in the inning was a three-run double from Ashley Butera which gave Nevada a 5-0 lead. In the third inning, a two-run double from Megan Sweet highlighted the Pack's three-run frame.
The Hornets had just three hits off Nevada starter Karlyn Jones, and two of those hits were doubles from Kortney Solis and Paige Castro. Jones (3-4) got the win, allowing just three hits without a walk and eight strikeouts over five innings. Stroud (3-4) went four innings and picked up the loss.
Nevada's Butera (2-for-3 with three RBIs), Sweet (1-for-3 with two RBIs) and former Hornet Erin Jones (2-for-3 with two RBIs) each had multiple-RBI games.
The Hornets took advantage of a wild pitch and an error to grab an early 2-0 lead in the second inning against Nevada starter Megan Dortch. With one out in the top of the second, back-to-back singles from Castro and Alyssa Vanderdrink followed by a successful double steal put runners at second and third. A wild pitch then scored Castro from third, and later in the inning, a Nevada error allowed Vanderdrink to come home.
However, Nevada scored four times in the fourth inning despite just getting one hit. Hornet starter Jennifer Hartman issued five walks in the inning, including three walks with the bases loaded.
That was more than enough run support for Dortch who improved to 5-3, allowing just three hits and two runs over seven innings. Sacramento State did get a runner to second base in both the fifth and sixth inning innings, but could not score.
Saturday will open a stretch in which the team plays eight straight, and 11 of its next 12 games at home to close out the month of March.