Nevada softball held their first home series this past weekend: the annual Wolf Pack Classic. The Wolf Pack competed hard, taking three wins and two losses as they improve to 10-14 on the season.
University of the Pacific and Sacramento State, March 6
Nevada opened the series with a close game, losing in the seventh inning 5-4 to the University of the Pacific Tigers.
Nevada started the game strong, scoring four runs in the first two innings. At the bottom of the first, junior Lauren Gutierrez smacked a single that drove senior Sierra Mello home, giving the Wolf Pack a 1-0 lead.
Freshman Charli McLendon put herself into scoring position on a single in the bottom of the second inning. Senior Sadaria McAlister then smashed a double, sending McLendon home and adding another point to Nevada’s tally. Freshman Chelie Senini reached base on a bunt, and Mello hit an RBI single to bring her home. Still, at the bottom of the second, senior Mele Tausinga hit a ground ball RBI, putting Nevada ahead 4-0.
The Pack held Pacific until the top of the fifth inning. The Tigers fought back with a leadoff triple and single, now only trailing Nevada 4-1. The score held until the top of the seventh inning when Pacific picked up four runs.
Sophomore Kendall Fritz pitched in the circle, giving up back-to-back singles. The Tigers tied up the game on a double. With the score 4-4 and two outs, Pacific took the lead on a single.
Nevada was unable to earn another point, giving the Wolf Pack their first loss of the series and their first loss at home.
The second game of the day fared much better for the Wolf Pack, who cinched 9-0 win against the Sacramento State Hornets.
Freshman Blake Craft started the game in the circle, pitching five innings and allowing only two hits.
The Pack got started right away, with Mello slamming a double in the bottom of the first. Only two pitches later, junior Ashley Salausa hit another double, sending Mello home. Three more pitches in and Tausinga continued the double trend, growing the Pack’s early momentum. Salausa scored, and another RBI from Gurierrez gave the pack an early 3-0 lead.
A single run was scored by the Wolf Pack in the bottom of the second, with Senini stealing second base after reaching first on a walk. An RBI from Mello sent Senini home, giving Nevada a 4-0 lead.
At the bottom of the third inning, senior Haley Burda smashed a two-run home run, adding two more points to Nevada’s lead, now 6-0.
McAlister started the bottom of the fourth inning off strong, hitting her first triple of the season. Mello followed with her third hit of the game and sent McAlister home. After two more singles and a sacrifice fly ball, the Wolf Pack secured the game, winning 9-0.
Weber State, March 7
In a doubleheader against the Weber State Wildcats, Nevada split the series 1-1. Fritz started in the circle, pitching six innings and allowing only three hits.
The first game of the day saw the Wolf Pack dominate Weber State 10-4.
Thanks to an RBI single from Gutierrez, Nevada had an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
The Wildcats retaliated fast, scoring two runs in the top of the second inning. Weber held the Pack 2-1 until the bottom of the fourth inning.
McLendon reached base from a walk before Senini singled, putting two runners on base with only one out. McAlister impressed again, smashing her first home run of the season, scoring three and giving Nevada a 4-2 lead.
The Pack continued to attack Weber in the bottom of the fifth inning, tacking on four more runs, and now leading 8-2. The Tigers responded with a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning, cutting Nevada’s lead to only four.
The Wolf Pack answered back, scoring two runs of their own in the sixth inning, opening up the game with a six-point lead.
The Pack defense held the lead in the seventh inning, giving Nevada a 10-4 win.
In their second game against Weber State, the Pack went neck-and-neck with the Wildcats, before eventually losing it in the final inning by a score of 4-3.
Weber State took the lead early, hitting a solo home run in the top of the second. The Pack was able to hold the Wildcats there until the top of the fourth when back-to-back doubles gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.
Nevada responded in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases and scoring on a walk, and closing the gap by a single point.
The Wolf Pack stole the lead from Weber State in the bottom of the sixth after a two-run RBI single from Salausa brought home McAlister and sophomore Danielle Lew. Nevada led 3-2 with only one inning to go.
With two outs in the top of the seventh inning, Nevada looked like it might get the win. Unfortunately for the Pack, the Wildcats launched a two-run home run, stealing the lead 4-3. The Pack was unable to respond in the seventh, taking the loss with a series record of 1-2.
Weber State and Sacramento State, March 8
Nevada and Weber State were scheduled for one last contest on the diamond, but the game was canceled.
In their final game of the series, Nevada battled it out to take another win—this time, against the Sacramento State Hornets 6-2.
Fritz started in the circle for the Pack, pitching all seven innings and allowing only two runs with three strikeouts and no walks. She went the distance, allowing just two runs without issuing a walk and tallied three strikeouts. The sophomore is now 8-5 for the season and 2-1 at home.
The Pack attacked fast, scoring a point at the bottom of the first. Mello reached base on a single before Gutierrez doubled, driving Mello home. The Pack continued to swing hard, with Salausa also smacking a double to move Gutierrez into scoring position. However, the Hornets ended the threat after catching two pop-ups, ending the inning.
The Pack held the 1-0 lead until the top of the fourth when Sacramento scored to tie it up. A scoreless bottom of the fourth from Nevada kept the score 1-1 until the top of the fifth after a sacrifice bunt and two hits put another point on the board for the Hornets.
Nevada answered back in the bottom of the fifth with McLendon reaching base on a walk, followed by a single hit by Senini to put two on with no outs. McAlister kept her dinger streak strong, smashing yet another three-run home run, her second of the series and her second home run of the season. The home run gave Nevada a 4-2 lead.
The Pack performed on defense, keeping the Hornets from scoring in the sixth while the bottom of the inning saw Nevada tack on two more runs, giving the Wolf Pack a 6-2 lead. Nevada won the game with a quick three outs in the top of the seventh.
Nevada starts conference play next weekend as the Pack travels to Las Vegas, Nev. to take on UNLV in a three-game series. The series begins on March 13 and runs through March 15.
Hailey Fleming can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @SagebrushSports.