Playing three games in one day for the first time since 2006, the Nevada softball team swept Niagara on Friday at Hixson Park heading into a three-game series against UNLV next week.
Sophomore Aaliyah Gibson went 6-for-11 on the day with a triple, a home run and three RBI for the Wolf Pack (28-8, 6-3 MW). Nevada sent three different starters into the circle for the three games and sophomore Chase Redington, junior McKenna Isenberg and freshman Brooke Bolinger each came out with wins.
Nevada last played three games in one day on May 13, 2006 where the Pack clinched its first-ever NCAA Regional appearance by winning two-out-of-three against Hawai’i.
GAME ONE RECAP
After Redington made it through the first inning unscathed, freshman Kwynn Warner led-off the home half with a walk. With one out, senior Megan Sweet singled through the right side giving the Wolf Pack runners on first and second. After senior Jasmine Jenkins was hit by a pitch to load the bases, sophomore Jennifer Purcell stepped to the plate and saw a ball sail over the catcher’s head that scored Warner from third and gave Nevada a 1-0 lead.
The Purple Eagles took its first lead of the game in the top of the second on a two-run RBI single but Nevada struck back in the bottom of the third. An RBI triple from Gibson scored junior Raquel Martinez from second to tie the game before Nevada took a 3-2 lead on a throwing error that plated Sweet all the way from second.
Niagara knotted up the score at 3-3 on a solo home run in the top of the fourth. Nevada went down in order in the fifth and put two runners on in the bottom of the sixth but could not muster the go-ahead run.
With one in the bottom of the seventh, Martinez reached first on an infield single and later stole second. Gibson then stepped to the dish and rocketed a two-hit that the right fielder dove for but missed, scoring Martinez from second and giving Nevada the walk-off 4-3 victory.
GAME TWO RECAP
Nevada jumped on the board early in the second game thanks to a three-run home run off the bat of Purcell that put the Pack out in front, 3-0.
Isenberg was mowing down the Purple Eagles as she retired six-straight through the second and third innings before surrendering her first hit of the game in the top of the fourth. Gibson helped Isenberg’s cause in the bottom of fifth with a lead-off home run, her fourth of the season, extending the Nevada lead to 4-0.
Despite allowing three runs in the seventh, Isenberg tallied two of her seven strikeouts in the inning to close the door and pick up her 10th victory of the season.
GAME THREE RECAP
Bolinger retired seven batter in a row through the three frames and retired two batters in the fourth via the strikeout. In the same inning, the Purple Eagles had a runner on second and was sent home on a single up the middle. As the runner rounded third, Gibson fielded the ball in center field and tossed a perfect strike to Amanda Nicholas at the plate to record the out and end the inning.
In the home half of the inning, with two outs and bases loaded, Warner sent a 3-2 pitch to the gap in the left center field that brought home Arriaga from third and pinch runner Ali Tedford from second give the Pack a 1-0 lead.
It was Bolinger needed as the freshman worked out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth and retired the side in the seventh to complete the sweep of Niagara.
Nevada next travels south for a three-game series with in-state foe UNLV. The Governor’s Series matchup will kick-off on Friday at 6 p.m.
Nevada Press Release