By Brandon Fuhs
Megan Dortch threw her first collegiate no-hitter on Friday, highlighting the Wolf Pack’s sweep of New Mexico this weekend. Nevada (21-13, 3-3 MW) rolled past the Lobos (10-23, 1-5 MW) in all three games, winning 13-5, 8-0 and 3-1.
McKenna Isenberg took the mound for the Wolf Pack’s first game Friday. She allowed the first two batters to reach base, but got herself out of the jam in time to keep the game scoreless. In the bottom half of the inning, Nevada loaded the bases after a pair of walks and a bunt single by Danielle Wiltz. The Wolf Pack capitalized on its opportunity and scored three runs in the inning, with RBIs from Ashley Butera, Nikki Orozco and Jasmine Jenkins.
After shutting down the Lobos in the top half of the second, Nevada scored eight more runs. The Lobos walked three in the inning and made an error to help out the Wolf Pack, but five hits in the inning was what did the most damage, including Sweet’s three-run double. The Lobos scored four runs in the top of the second, but Orozco’s two-run double in the bottom of the fifth sealed the deal, giving the Wolf Pack the win 13-5 by the mercy-rule.
Nevada’s offense did not slow down for its second game Friday, but the star of the game was Dortch. Dortch’s no-hitter was dominant, as she struck out five and walked four. The Lobos did not hit the ball out of the infield until the fifth inning. Dortch picked up her eighth win of the season, a team high.
The offense for the second game of the double-header was paced by Erin Jones, who went for 4-for-4 with six RBIs and two runs. Jones crushed a two-run shot to left in the 4th, and her two-run double in the sixth finished off the Lobos in mercy-rule fashion for the second time that day.
The series finale on Sunday was all Dortch once again. She threw her 11th complete game of the year in the 3-1 victory. Dortch gave up four hits over seven innings of work, while striking out four. The Wolf Pack needed another great performance from Dortch because the offense struggled most of the game.
Although Nevada got an early 2-0 lead, it was held without a hit until the sixth inning. The runs in the first came from early walks and good execution. Jones’s sacrifice bunt set up two runners in scoring position, both of which later scored from an illegal pitch and an RBI groundout from Butera. Jenkins added another run in the sixth with an RBI single to right, the only hit for the Wolf Pack.
After striking out the first batter in the seventh, Dortch loaded the bases after a hit by pitch, an error and a walk. After an RBI groundout to make it 3-1 with runners on the corners, Dortch got the last New Mexico hitter to pop out.
After being swept by UNLV in its first conference series, this weekend was a huge turnaround for the Wolf Pack. Nevada looks to carry that momentum into next weekend, when it visits San Diego State (25-9, MW 2-1).
Brandon Fuhs can be reached at email@example.com.