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NEVADA POSTS DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP OF SOFTBALL
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Nevada combined for 14 runs and 24 hits over two games as the Wolf Pack swept a non-conference softball doubleheader from Sacramento State Tuesday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Nevada won the first game, 7-3, and followed with a 7-5 victory in the nightcap.
With the victories, Nevada (9-3) has now won five in a row and eight of its last nine. Among the Wolf Pack’s wins this season include victories over then top ranked Arizona, No. 21 Cal State Fullerton and No. 25 Oregon State.
Sacramento State dropped to 1-3 on the young season as each of the Hornets’ first four games have come at home.
“Nevada is a very good team with some nice wins already under their belt, and we are still getting into the groove of the season,” Sacramento State head coach Kathy Strahan said. “Our offense is definitely going to score runs this year, we just need our pitching to come around. We can’t expect to stay in games all year if we continue to give up seven runs.”
In the first game, Nevada pounded out seven runs and 11 hits, but six of those runs were unearned because of Sacramento State errors. Hornet starting pitcher Kayla Meeks allowed one earned run and 11 hits in 7.0 innings, but got the loss which dropped her record to 1-1.
Sacramento State jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning after Meeks scored from second base on a a Wolf Pack throwing error. Nevada, however, scored seven unanswered runs to take control of the game with three in the third inning and four more in the seventh. The big blows for Nevada came on a two-run single from Kelsey Starr in the third and a two-run single from Sarah Hunt in the seventh.
The Hornets scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, highlighted by an RBI-double from Jamie Schloredt. The Hornets’ Meeks and Whitney Loomis each had a pair of hits in the game. Noelle Micka led Nevada with three hits, including a double.
In the nightcap, seven Nevada starters each had at least one hit as the Wolf Pack pounded out seven runs and 13 hits. The Wolf Pack erased a 3-2 deficit in the top of the fifth inning with three unearned runs, and later added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning.
As darkness settled in on Shea Stadium, the Hornets trailed, 7-4, in the bottom of the seventh but mounted a rally that almost tied the game. A single from Izmena Cabrera and a double from Sherry Clark put runners at second and third with one out. Rachel Miles then stepped in against Nevada reliever Katie Holverson, and hit a ball that was caught just in front of the left-field wall by Brittany Puzey. The blast would have tied the game, but Miles wound up with a sacrifice fly that scored Cabrera. Holverson then induced Teri Ann Caoagan to ground out and end the game.
Trailing, 5-4, in the bottom of the sixth, the Hornets had the bases loaded with one out, but Holverson was able to retire both Amy Tompkins and Whitney Loomis to get out of the jam unscathed.
Cabrera was the only Hornet with multiple hits in the contest as the junior went 4-for-4 with two runs, a home run and an RBI. Cabrera finished the doubleheader with five hits in eight at-bats (.625). Loomis hit her second home run of the season, a shot that led off the fifth inning.
In her first start of the season, Hornet sophomore Brittani Clifford (0-1) got the loss, allowing five runs (two earned) and eight hits in 4.1 innings. Freshman Megan Schaefer pitched 2.2 innings of relief, allowing two runs and five hits.
Nevada starter Jordan McPherson (4-1) got the win, allowing four runs (two earned) and six hits over 4.0 innings. Hoverson notched her third save of the season, pitching the final three innings.
Sacramento State combined to leave 17 runners on base during the doubleheader.
For the Hornets, Loomis, Clark and Schloredt have now each hit safely during the team’s first four games this season. In fact, the Hornets have six players batting over .330, comprised of Schloredt (.500), Meeks (.500), Cabrera (.467), Miles (.429), Clark (.357) and Loomis (.333).
Sacramento State returns to action later this week when the team takes part in the Mustang Classic in San Luis Obispo, Calif. (Feb. 22-24). The Hornets will play five games during the three-day tournament, beginning Friday with contests against UAB (9 a.m.) and Santa Clara (2 p.m.).
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