The University of Nevada softball team outlasted UNLV and won 5-4 in eight innings on Saturday, leveling the Mountain West series with the Rebels at one game apiece.
Heads-up base running and some clutch hitting late allowed the Wolf Pack to beat the Rebels and stay in the hunt for three Governor’s Series presented by NV Energy points, which will now be awarded after the series finale on Sunday at noon.
Lauren Lastrapes, who walked to begin the eighth inning, scored on a sacrifice fly from Megan Sweet to end the contest. With one out in what would be the final inning of the game, Nevada cashed in on a bases-loaded opportunity when Sweet lifted a pitch to shallow center. Lastrapes alertly took off for home and slid head first under the tag of catcher Emily Haslinger.
Nevada moved to 29-20 (8-6 MW) with the win, while UNLV fell to 19-26 (5-6 MW).
Erin Jones tied the Nevada single-season record for doubles when she ripped her 18th of the year into the right-center field gap in the seventh. Later in that inning, Ashley Butera singled home the game-tying fourth run for the Pack, scoring Sara Parsons and allowing Nevada to complete the comeback an inning later.
Karlyn Jones pitched eight innings and did not allow a walk to win for the 16th time this year. She struck out seven and pitched brilliantly with runners on, stranding four Rebel base runners. She now has 124 strike outs in just over 150 innings pitched in 2013.
Karley Hopkins singled home a run in the sixth and was 3-for-5 to raise her season average to a team best .387. One of her three hits was a double, giving her 16 this season. Megan Fincher had a two-hit day out of the eight spot in the Pack batting order and was on base three times, as she also drew a walk.
Amanda Oliveto came in to close the game in the bottom of the seventh, put the Butera single spoiled the save and she lost in the eighth to fall to 16-14. UNLV starter Francesca Foti pitched six and two thirds, but did not factor into the decision.
Sunday will be senior day at Hixson Park, as Nevada’s four outgoing student-athletes will be honored in a ceremony before the game. It will also be the final home contest for the Pack this season.