Nevada tops No. 25 Cal State Fullerton in Friday split
After falling to Seattle 8-7 earlier in the afternoon, the Nevada softball team topped No. 25 Cal State Fullerton, 6-5, in the second game of its first day of action at the Wilson/DeMarini Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev.
Senior Megan Dortch (1-1) earned her first win of 2015 for the Pack (2-5, 0-0 MW) in the victory over the nationally-ranked Titans after tossing 5.2 innings and striking out eight, two shy of her career-high. Junior Jasmine Jenkins led Nevada at the plate where she went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Nevada's last win over a ranked opponent was on Feb. 17 of last season, an 11-9 win over No. 20 Hawai'i.
The Pack struck first in the top of the first on an RBI single that scored Hopkins from third and led the game from the first pitch till the final out. After Dortch blanked the Titans in the bottom half of the frame, Nevada plated three more runs in the top of the second on an RBI single from junior shortstop Megan Sweet and a two RBI single from Jenkins that extended the Pack's lead to 4-0.
Nevada would score one run a piece in the third and fourth innings, RBI singles from junior Danielle Wiltz and freshman third baseman Alyssa Mendez, that gave the Pack its largest lead of the contest, 6-0.
In the circle, Dortch delivered with a top performance as she held one of the nation's most talented lineups to two hits through five innings. Despite the Titans chasing Dortch from the game after plating five runs in the bottom of the sixth, freshman pitcher Chase Redington would come in relief to get the final out of the frame to preserve the lead and record her first career save to nail down the 6-5 win for Nevada.
In her start against Seattle University in the first game of the day, Redington allowed two runs in the top of the first but struck out all three Red Hawk batters swinging.
The Pack put two runners on in back-to-back frames, including two singles from senior second baseman Karley Hopkins, but Nevada could not manage to get a run across. The Red Hawks responded in the visiting half of the third with two more runs to extend its lead to 4-0.
In the bottom of the third, the Nevada bats came to life starting with a walk from Jenkins followed by a single from Sweet that put runners at first and third. Mendez, who came into the tournament hot after hitting .400 and slugging .800 at the Kajikawa Classic, struck a double to left-center that scored Jenkins and put Nevada on the board, 4-1. After freshman Jennifer Purcell popped up to the third baseman in foul ground, designated player Amanda Weis hit the second Pack double of the inning that scored Sweet and Mendez to cut its deficit to one, 4-3.
The Pack manufactured its fourth run in the top of the fourth. Hopkins led off the frame with her third hit, a double, and was moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt from center fielder Aaliyah Gibson. Hopkins then scored on a sac fly from Jenkins that tied the score at 4-4.
After Seattle scored three more runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 7-4 lead, Nevada battled back to plate another run on an RBI single from Sweet to make it 7-5. Seattle plated another run in the bottom of the sixth before the Pack tried to muster together some seventh inning magic.
After pinch hitter Danielle Wiltz reached on an error, junior Amanda Weis cranked her first home run of 2015 to left-center that again cut the Nevada deficit to one, 8-7. The inning would see more Nevada baserunners but neither could reach home to tie the score as the Red Hawks topped the Pack, 8-7.
Tomorrow, the Wolf Pack will take on Long Beach State at 11:15 a.m. and UTEP 1:30 p.m.