Senior Karley Hopkins tallied three hits and the game-winning RBI and junior Megan Sweet went 3-for-4 with a solo home run as the Nevada softball team topped second-place San Jose State, 6-5, in the first game of a three-game series on Friday afternoon.
Senior Megan Dortch came on in the bottom of the seventh with the runners on first and second base and no one out and retired the final three hitters and pick up the save for the Pack (15-33, 5-14 MW). Freshman Chase Redington recorded the win while starter McKenna Isenberg tossed 5.2 innings and held the conference's top offense to minimal damage.
Along with Hopkins and Sweet, senior Molly McWilliams went 3-for-4 with an RBI double and two runs scored to mark the third time this season where Nevada had three players with three hits or more in a game.
With the Spartans leading 1-0 entering the top of the third, Sweet led-off the inning and rocketed a solo home run to center field, her ninth of the season, to tie the game at 1-1. With one out, sophomore Raquel Martinez sent a single to left field and, with senior Ashley Butera at the plate, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. With two outs and Martinez still at third, McWilliams ripped a double down the left field line to give Nevada the go-ahead run and a 2-1 lead.
After the Spartans tied the game at 2-2 in bottom half of the inning, Nevada came back with two runs of their own to regain the lead in the top of the fourth. Freshman Alyssa Mendez singled up the middle to lead-off the inning before moving to third on a groundout. With one out, Jenkins reached on a dropped pop up by the second baseman to give the Pack runners on the corners with one out. Sweet then stepped to the plate and scored Mendez from third on an RBI groundout to give Nevada the lead again, 3-2. Junior Amanda Weis extended the Pack lead to 4-2 on an RBI double down the right field line for her 30th RBI of the season.
Isenberg held the Spartans scoreless in the bottom of the fourth before Nevada tacked on another run in the top of the fifth as Hopkins reached on an error that scored McWilliams from third to make it 5-2.
Despite SJSU pushing a run across in the bottom of the fifth and two more in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 5-5, Nevada fought back as McWilliams led-off the top of the seventh with a single to center field. After stealing second, McWilliams moved to third on a groundout to give the Spartans one out in the inning. After a pitching change that led to the second out of the inning, Hopkins came through with the game-winning hit, an infield single that scored McWilliams and gave Nevada a 6-5 lead.
Redington came on in the bottom of the seventh after recording the final out of the sixth but after allowing two runners to reach, she was lifted in place of Dortch. The senior picked up the first two outs and with the bases loaded struck out the final batter of the game looking to seal the win.
Game two between the Pack and the Spartans will be tomorrow at 12 p.m.