The Nevada Wolf Pack softball team continues to dominate its 2023 season, as they went 3-1 competing in the Stanford Tournament in Palo Alto, Calif., as well as the Pacific Tournament in Stockton, Calif.
The Feb. 24 game against the Michigan Wolverines was a big one for the Pack. With a final score of 3-0, Nevada won its first game against a Big 10 team since 2016. Blake Craft, Nevada starting pitcher, continued to steamroll opponents as she threw her third shutout of the season. She gave up two hits and two walks. Craft also recorded two strikeouts in a complete seven innings of work.
Offensively for the Pack, its three runs didn’t come until the final two innings. Gabby Herrera, Nevada outfielder, got Nevada on the board with a two-run single in the top of the sixth inning.
In the top of the seventh, Maya Larsen, Nevada pinch hitter, smacked an opposite-field base hit to score Nevada’s third run of the game. The Wolverines were ranked 25 before the weekend series and now sit with a 7-8 record.
With the win over Michigan, the Wolf Pack carried an eight-game winning streak into their matchup the next day against the Stanford Cardinals. The streak was not able to reach nine, however, as the 16-ranked Cardinals took down the Pack, 3-0.
Carley Brown, Nevada starting pitcher, went all six innings in the loss. She gave up eight hits and all three runs, although only one run was earned. Brown also struck out two.
The Wolf Pack’s offense was shut down by Regan Krause, Stanford starting pitcher. Krause no-hit the Wolf Pack while striking out nine.
Hailey Prahm, Nevada first baseman, was the only one to reach base for the Pack, reaching first on an error.
Following those two games, Nevada traveled to Stockton to take on the Pacific Tigers on Feb. 25. The two teams played a Saturday night doubleheader, which ended with a Wolf Pack sweep.
Game one was a bit of redemption for Brown, who picked up the win despite giving up four runs in three and one-third innings. Tyra Clary, Nevada pitcher, pitched three and two-thirds innings in relief to pick up the save while striking out five.
Aaliyah Jenkins, Nevada catcher, led the way with a 2-4 performance and four RBIs. Jenkins got the Wolf Pack on the board with an RBI groundout in the third inning, followed by a five-run fourth inning by Nevada. Maile Olsen, Nevada second baseman, started it off with an RBI single to give the Pack two runs. Larsen walked with the bases loaded to bring in another, quickly followed by a three-run double by Jenkins. The Wolf Pack went on to win game one 6-4.
Game two saw a wild extra-innings matchup, with Nevada coming out with an 8-7 win. Craft got the start for Nevada but with little success. She gave up nine hits, four runs, and struck out three in four and two-thirds innings. Clary came in relief for the second time in the day, picking up the win.
The Wolf Pack scored early, bringing across five runs in the first two innings. Jenkins stayed hot, going 2-3 with three RBIs and a home run. The Tigers scored one in the third and three in the fifth to make it a one-run game. In the top of the seventh, Charli Hawkins, Nevada pinch hitter, hit a home run to give the Pack a 6-4 lead. The Tigers didn’t go down without a fight, as they tallied two to tie the game 6-6.
The eighth inning went back and forth, as Chelie Senini, Nevada center fielder, broke the tie with an RBI sac fly. The Tigers tied it back up in the bottom half, sending the game to the ninth. Nevada closed it out after Halyee Engelbrecht, Nevada shortstop, scored on a wild pitch.
The third game between these two teams was canceled on Sunday due to inclement weather. By finishing the weekend 3-1, Nevada improves to 12-2 on the year.
For their next games, The Wolf Pack will head to Miami, Fla. on March 3-5 to play in the Florida International Tournament. They will play five games in those three days.
Dominic Gutierrez can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @NevadaSagebrush