The Nevada softball took advantage of wild Southern Utah pitching and used timely hitting to beat the Thunderbirds 6-4 at the Grand Canyon Tournament on Friday.
The Wolf Pack fell to the host school Grand Canyon in game two as the Antelopes scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to top Nevada 7-6. Nevada saw its record move to 9-3 overall.
Nevada will take on the same two teams tomorrow in a doubleheader beginning at 11:30 a.m. Pacific time.
Nevada got a strong effort in the circle from Karlyn Jones (2-2) to get the game-one win against Southern Utah. She went five and two-third, giving up five hits and two runs with only one earned. She struck out five and didn't walk a batter.
Jones gave way in the sixth to McKenna Isenberg, who worked out of trouble in the sixth and seventh for her first career save.
Nevada scored its six runs with just three hits and Ashley Butera delivered the big blow with a two-run blast in the first, her second of the year. The Wolf Pack capitalized on wild Thunderbird pitching as SUU issued 10 walks and hit three batters and Nevada missed out on a couple of chances to blow the game wide open, leaving 11 runners on base.
In game two, the Wolf Pack never trailed until the game's final play. Nevada scored in the first on a Caylin Campbell single and got another in the second on the first career home run by Molly McWilliams.
But Grand Canyon came back and tied it in the third, chasing starter Megan Dortch from the game in the process. In the fourth, Nikki Orozco ripped an RBI single and Megan Sweet and Butera smacked back-to-back RBI doubles to put Nevada back in front 5-2.
The Lopes answered again in the bottom of the inning, scoring three times to tie it before Isenberg came on in relief of Ariel Craig to get Nevada out without any further damage done.
The Wolf Pack took the lead in the fifth on the first homer of the year by Sara Parson, a solo shot that made it 6-5.
Isenberg worked effectively into the seventh until Grand Canyon lead off with a bloop single. A sacrifice bunt then hurt the Pack as Jasmine Jenkins' throwing error gave the Lopes runners on second and third and nobody out instead of a runner on second an one out.
Isenberg got back-to-back strikeouts before a single to left and a single to center gave Grand Canyon the game-winning runs.