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“We are right where we want to be,” said Tina Johnson, head coach. “This team has a good feel right now, and we really are doing OK.”
In the first game, WSU fell behind with a 3-0 score going into the bottom of the fourth inning. WSU quickly loaded the bases. First baseman Cydnee Clarke walked which scored one run. London Clarke got up to bat, hitting one to UNR’s second baseman, who made an error, scoring another run and bringing the score 3-2. Bases were still loaded as Erika James-Dixon got up to bat.
James-Dixon hit a triple down the left-field line, scoring three runs and bringing WSU’s score to five. WSU then went on to play three errorless innings to end the first game with a 5-3 score.
“They came out and got ahead right away, and we acted like it didn’t even happen,” James-Dixon said. “We came out hitting and came up with the clutch hits when we needed them with two outs, and it was exciting for our team.”
Senior Sarah Clark pitched the full seven innings on the mound for the Wildcats and had three strikeouts. Clark also earned her ninth win on the season, bringing her record to 9-6. The Wolf Pack had six hits and two errors to the Wildcats’ five hits and one error.
The second game proved less effective for the Wildcats. After a single run scored in the first inning by UNR, WSU couldn’t fight back. UNR then went on to score five runs in the third inning. WSU countered that with one run. The scored remained the same until the top of the seventh inning when Sam Puzey of UNR hit a home run over center field.
WSU had two errors in the second game where UNR had none. WSU had seven hits to UNR’s nine.
Freshman pitcher Morgan Allaband started on the mound for the Wildcats in the second game and had 4 strikeouts. Allaband’s record is 1-7.
“Our defense played really well today,” James-Dixon said. “There was a few times they were hitting the gaps, and we adjusted and made those plays for our pitcher when she needed it.”
Johnson agreed with James-Dixon that the Wildcats’ defense played well.
“We were aggressive on defensive,” Johnson said. “We played the ball well. Our outfielders didn’t make any mistakes, and they threw the ball where they were supposed to.”
The team struggled with bunting the ball today, Johnson said.
“We are going to work on bunting,” she said. “We tried to bunt the wrong pitches. When we got the bunt down, it went really well, but whenever one in the ball park knew we were bunting, we had a little bit of trouble with it.”
WSU starts conference play Saturday against Northern Colorado University. James-Dixon said the team is ready for conference play.
“We have been waiting for this all year,” James-Dixon said. “We are excited because we are ready. We are going to lay off the pitches that aren’t ours and crush the ones that come into our zone.”
Johnson agreed that the team is in a good place to win and that her goal is to take third in conference play.
“I think we are in a good spot to win,” Johnson said. “I think we can take our conference games if we hit and we pitch well, we will be in a good spot.”