Nevada’s bid to claim the Western Athletic Conference Tournament title via the losers’ bracket came to an end Saturday in the championship game as the Wolf Pack fell 2-1 to Louisiana Tech.
The Wolf Pack finished the year 42-16 and will now wait for the NCAA Tournament field to be announced Sunday evening to see if the season continues on. The tournament begins Friday at 16 Regional sites.
Freshman shortstop Danielle Patrick was named to the All-Tournament Team, as was junior outfielder Brittany Puzey.
Nevada had 10 hits in the game but left nine runners on base. Louisiana Tech led 1-0 after five and a half innings but the Pack tied it in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Lady Techsters took the lead, however, in the top of the seventh with a solo home run by pitcher Krissi Oliver.
Nevada had some chances in the middle of the game as the Pack put the first two batters on base in the third inning and the leadoff batter on in the fourth inning. But neither threat led to any run production and neither did another golden opportunity in the fifth inning
In the fifth, Danille Patrick and Tyler Schafer reached on singles. After Noelle Micka flied out and Brittany Puzey struck out, Vanessa Briones lined a ball to right field. Pack pinch-runner Kristin Stith appeared to beat the throw to the plate but home plate umpire Steve Arnold called Stith out and another Nevada threat was quelled.
Louisiana Tech got on the board first with a sacrifice fly in the top of the 6th inning as the Lady Techsters took a 1-0 lead.
Nevada put together another threat in the sixth and found paydirt with this one. Britton Murdock started it with a line drive to right field. Then Sam Bias drilled a ball down the third-base line and she reached on the single. Kelsey Starr then loaded the bases by laying down a perfect bunt down the third-base side.
Michelle Beach, Nevada’s pinch-hitter extraordinaire, came on and lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to score pinch-runner Sarah Hunt and tie the game. But Nevada would get no more in the inning and the teams went to the seventh tied at 1.
McPherson was cruising early on. She allowed only one runner to reach second base in the first five innings. She gave up six hits and two runs – one earned – while walking one and striking out three.
Nevada will watch the NCAA Softball Selection Show on Sunday evening at Bully’s Sports Bar and Grill. The show is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
For more on the Nevada softball team, please visit the Wolf Pack’s “WAC Tournament Central” page at www.nevadawolfpack.com. The feature includes stories, box scores, pictures and a daily blog from senior infielder Kristin Stith.
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