A big second inning sparked the Nevada softball team to an 8-2 victory over Colo-NESCO in a non-conference rivalry game June 7 in Nevada.
The Cubs fell behind 2-0 out of the gate. But they broke loose for five runs in the second to earn their second-straight victory and go to 3-4 on the season.
Nevada won just four games all of last season.
“There’s definitely a different attitude we all have,” Nevada senior pitcher Mackenzie Garrett said. “We expect to win when we get on the field.”
Garrett gave up 10 hits, but she settled down after surrendering one run apiece in the first two innings. Garrett blanked Colo-NESCO over the final five innings and finished with two strikeouts and just one walk.
“You’ve got to work that drop (pitch) in, then just get it outside even farther,” Garrett said.
Freshman Ellie Gray sparked Nevada’s big second inning on offense with a two-run single.
“It felt really good,” Gray said. “It’s just nice to help the team and give us kind of an edge.”
Garrett singled in a run, and Riley Mailey and Addi Vorm each added an RBI for Nevada in the second.
Grace Francis doubled in the second and she singled in a run in the fourth inning. Francis then capped the scoring in a big way in the sixth.
After Gray doubled off the fence in left field — just missing a home run inside the foul pole - Francis stepped up and crushed a big two-run homer to left-center field.
“I saw Ellie hit it and I just had the confidence to just get her in,” Francis said. “Just put more runs on the board and help the team out.”
The victory capped a busy day for Francis. She played goalie for the Nevada girls’ soccer team in a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss to Iowa City Regina in the quarterfinals of the girls’ state soccer tournament earlier in the day.
“I’m a little tired, but I came out and played hard for both teams,” Francis said. “Couldn’t ask for better teams.”
Colo-NESCO fell to 4-5 with the loss. The Royals were hurt by two errors in the fatal second inning, but Colo-NESCO head softball coach Candace Sutton said she saw a lot of good things in a losing effort against a larger school.
“Our pitcher was doing a great job, but our errors dug us a hole we couldn’t dig back out of,” Sutton said. “I was really happy with our bats tonight. We got a lot of base runners, we just couldn’t plate them.”
In the top of the first, Mackenna Ruffcorn drove in a run after McKenzie Niemeyer drew a leadoff walk and Rylee Purvis followed with a bloop single for the Royals. The top of the second saw Ayvarie Bappe and Megan Carlson both hit singles and Faith Vincent drive in a run for Colo-NESCO.
Ruffcorn was the losing pitcher. She gave up 10 hits and four walks in a gritty seven innings on the mound.
Nevada 8, Colo-NESCO 2
CN 110 000 0 - 2 10 2
N 050 102 X - 8 10 1
CN: Mackenna Ruffcorn and Chelsea Henze.
N: Mackenzie Garrett and Katie Sullivan.
2B: N - Grace Francis, Sydney Mosinski, Ellie Gray.
HR: N - Grace Francis.