The Nevada softball used an explosive six-run first inning to set the tone early on and defeat the Fresno State Bulldogs 8-4 on Saturday night. With the win, the Wolf Pack sits at 17-15 on the season and 3-5 in Mountain West Play, heading into Sunday’s rubber match.
In the first inning, Nevada connected on four hits and capitalized on two errors from the Bulldogs (24-12, 5-3 MW), which resulted in the Pack crossing the plate six times by the time first three outs of the game were completed. The offensive outpouring began with freshman Sienna Swain singling to second base, bringing up junior Erika Hansen who grounded into a fielder’s choice.
With two out in the inning, freshman Kenzi Goins ripped a ball through the third baseman’s legs, allowing Hansen to score from first. After Goins advanced to third courtesy of an error by Fresno State, freshman Mele Tausinga walked to put runners at the corners for senior Nikki Orozco who kept the rally going with a single down the right field line to score Goins.
The Pack continued tack runs on the board as senior Melissa Arriaga drove home two more runs, giving Nevada a 4-0 lead. After freshman Haley Burda was hit by a pitch, the Pack batted around and senior Raquel Martinez capped off the six-run inning with a single to left centerfield, which brought home the Pack’s fifth and sixth runs of the inning.
Fresno State managed to fight back, scoring two runs in the second and third inning to narrow the Pack’s lead to 7-2, heading into the fifth inning. Nevada added an insurance run in the top of the fifth, increasing its lead back to six runs, but the Bulldogs didn’t go away quietly.
In the bottom of the seventh, Fresno State scored twice, bringing Nevada’s lead to just four runs. However, sophomore Kali Sargent fought back to retire the side and scratch off her fourth complete game of the season and give Nevada the 8-4 win.
The Pack will be back on the field Sunday in the rubber match of the three-game series against the Bulldogs. First pitch for that matchup is scheduled for 12 p.m. PT.