By Will Compton
Despite a hard-fought series by the Pack, Nevada’s softball team fell to San Jose State University this weekend in a 3-0 sweep by the Spartans.
Defensive miscues were the plague for Nevada in game one as the Spartans took the first victory of the three-game series, 11-1 on Friday. Freshman Brooke Bolinger blanked San Jose in the first four innings, but was shut down after striking out three. Senior Megan Sweet hit her 10th double of the season, and is now four away from tying the program record of 61. Bolinger created a quick 1-2-3 at the top of the first, and freshman Kwynn Warner listed the first hit of the day for the Pack on a single to left center. Warner grabbed a quick double on an error by the Spartans. Senior Jasmine Jenkins took the plate and hit an RBI right up the middle, giving Nevada a 1-0 lead, the team’s only runs of the game. Bolinger worked herself out of a tight jam in the second, and ended the third and fourth innings with strikeouts. Unfortunately, the freshman couldn’t keep the Spartans down for long, as SJSU tallied three runs in the fifth, five in the sixth and three more in seventh to seal the win.
Nevada’s Sweet hit two-for-four and an RBI, which places her eight shy from tying the program record, in game two of the series. Nevada couldn’t hold on to San Jose State and lost 12-4 on Saturday. Junior McKenna Isenberg went five innings and struck out three Spartans, while sophomore Aaliyah Gibson grabbed her fifth triple of the season. San Jose came out heated in game two, leading 8-0 entering the bottom of the fourth.
Nevada tallied the beginning of its comeback in the home half of the inning. Jenkins started with a walk and sophomore Jennifer Purcell hit a single down the right sideline. Junior Melissa Arriaga singled to left center field, and scored Jenkins from second. Nevada had its first score of the game. Sophomore Amanda Nicholas then came out and was walked. With bases loaded and no one out, both senior Amanda Weis and junior Raquel Martinez earned RBIs by getting hit from the pitch. Sweet stepped up to the plate and tallied an RBI single, making the score 8-4. The Spartans continued to attack Nevada, scoring two runs in the fifth and two more in the seventh to end the game.
Game three was an absolute slugfest, but Nevada’s efforts were not enough, as San Jose State completed the sweep of the Wolf Pack, 12-8, on Sunday. The Spartans took an early 7-0 lead in the top of the fourth, but the Pack answered back in the bottom half. Gibson hit a single up the middle, which set up Sweet’s 12th home run of the season, putting Nevada on the board, score 7-2. Junior Nikki Orozco followed up Sweet with a single, then Purcell stepped up to the batter’s run of the season, putting Nevada on the board, score 7-2. Junior Nikki Orozco followed up Sweet with a single, then Purcell stepped up to the batter’s box and bombed a two-run home run out of left center to make it a three-run game. Sophomore pitcher Chase Redington came in as the relief pitcher and delivered an easy 1-2-3 at the top of the fifth. Nevada then tacked on three more runs with an RBI single from Orozco and Purcell hit another two-run home run, tying the game up at seven all.
San Jose could not be held down, as it racked up five runs in the top of the sixth to extend its lead to 12-7. Sweet tallied her third RBI of the day that brought home Martinez and made the score 12-8. San Jose would retire Nevada, and end the ball game.
Nevada hits the road this week to take on Colorado State for a three-game series.
Will Compton can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SagebrushSports