Softball Stories (2 updated)
April 18, 2012WESTERN NEBRASKA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Jones tosses no-hitter, WNCC softball sweeps NJC
Western Nebraska Community College's Amanda Jones achieved her first collegiate no-hitter in sizzling fashion Tuesday afternoon in mowing down Northeastern Junior College at Volunteer Field.
Jones took to the mound in the second game and allowed just three baserunners for an unearned run before setting down the final next 11 straight batters for the 9-1 win.
In fact, the Cougars' trio of pitchers were exceptionable on the day. In the opener,
Bianca Duran and Aria Agle combined on a 2-hitter in propelling the Cougars to the 13-1 win before Jones finished off day with her no-hitter.
The sweep was the Cougars 31st and 32nd wins on the season and pushed the team to 16-3 in conference play. WNCC is now tied with Otero for the top spot.
For Jones, her no-hitter was her first at WNCC. Jones had several no-hitters at the high school level but the sophomore from Las Vegas, Nev., said that getting that collegiate no-hitter was something she was aiming for.
"it is actually really exciting," she said. "I am proud of myself because I accomplished something that I wanted to accomplish in college. it is my first no-hitter in college."
In fact, Jones is quick to add that the entire team played as a unit. All three pitchers were controlling NJC's hitters and the defense limited base runners, including a nice double play in the first game. Jones said the way they played is a good sign as the season nears the end.
"It was really nice that we [the pitchers] were all on," Jones said. "When we are not in, it is harder for our defense to have confidence in us and back us up. When we are all on, the defense is right there behind us and readyto back us up."
Jones said that first inning set the tone for the rest of the day.
"It was real important because it helped our self-esteem," she said. "Overall, I think we played really well. We played as a team, instead of individually like we have in the past. We are finally coming around and hitting the ball well and making the plays that we need to make."
WNCC pushed the first-game lead to 13-0 with five runs on four hits in the second inning. Bitton and Hawryluk each had run-scoring singles, while Danielle Hearn ripped a 2-run home run.
NJC's only run of the game came in the fifth when Jessica Hood walked and scored on a double by Karala Orona. Orona had the only two hits on the day for the Plainswomen, both in the first game.
WNCC, on the other hand, pounded out 13 hits. Hawryluk and Bitton each had three hits in the contest. Hawryluk went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, a double, three RBIs, and a stolen base. Bitton went 3-for-3 with two runs scored, a double and two RBIs. Duran also pounded two hits, collecting a double and home run to go with three RBIs. Kayla Romey also went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two stolen bases, while Hearn went Hearns went 2-for-2 with a home run, three RBIs, two runs scored and two free passes.
Duran picked up the win, tossing four innings, striking out three in allowing two baserunners on an error and a third-inning single. Agle tossed one inning, striking out one and giving up a run on a hit.
Game two saw the Cougars fall behind early as NJC plated one run in the second on two errors and a hit batsman. They managed just one run on a sacrifice. After that, the Cougars opened up the game, scoring five times in the second with two outs. Kasey Cash got things cranked up with a 2-out solo home run to tie the game. Agle then walked followed by three straight singles by Mariah Faifer, Romey and Hawryluk for a 5-1 lead.
WNCC went up 7-1 in the fourth with three straight singles. Hearn had the big hit, a 2-out 2-run single. WNCC ended the contest in the fifth on the 8-run rule as Jocelyn Stubbs and Agle singled, while Mariah Shepherd reached on an error. Cash and Faifer each recorded sacrifice flies to score the winning runs.
Romey and Hawryluk each finished the game with two hits each and two runs scored.
WNCC returns to action this weekend as they travel to Glendive, Mont., for a four-game series with Dawson Community College on Saturday and Sunday. these four games are the final games of the conference season for the Cougars. If the Cougars win all four, they will win the conference since the hold tiebreaker over Otero.
Jones said if they play like they did Tuesday, they should be in great shape.
"We just have to make sure that we are mentally prepared on the long road trip and make sure we play our best game," she said. "If we play like we did today, I think we will do just fine and it will put us in a good spot for regionals and where we want to be."
NJC 000 01 -- 1 2 2
WNCC 850 0x -- 13 13 1
WP -- Bianca Duran; 2B -- Sarah Hawryluk, Duran, Kasey Cash, Bree Bitton. HR -- Duran, Danielle Hearn.
NJC 010 00 -- 1 0 2
WNCC 050 22 -- 9 9 2
WP -- Amanda Jones; HR -- Cash
WNCC softball splits with Otero on Saturday
LA JUNTA, Colo. -- The Western Nebraska Community College softball team captured its 30th win of the season after earning a conference split with Otero Junior College on Saturday on the road.
In the opener, the Cougars outhit the Rattlers 7-4, but fell 4-3. The Cougars left little doubt on the outcome of the second contest as they received 3-run home runs from Kasey Cash and Aria Agle in posting a commanding 18-5 5-inning win.
The Cougars are now 30-24 on the season and return ti action Tuesdaywhen they host Northeastern Junior College beginning at 3 p.m. at Volunteer Field.
WNCC opened it offensive in the second contest with 17 hits with seven going for extra bases.
The Cougars quickly took command with five first-inning runs. Danielle Hearn and Jocelyn Stubbs started things with singles and then Mariah Shepherd hammered a 2-run double. Cash followed with a run-scoring double before Agle had a run-scoring single and Gabi Palacios had a run-scoring double.
WNCC went up 11-2 after two innings with a six-run second on just three hits. The big hits were a Cash 2-run single and a a 3-run home run by Agle over centerfield.
The Cougars continued powering on the runs with three runs in the third and fourth and a single run in the fifth. The third saw WNCC string together four singles, including Mariah Faifer 2-run single for a 14-1 lead.
WNCC scored its three runs in the fourth all with two outs. After Stubbs and Shepherd reached base, Cash sent the ball over centerfield fence for a 3-run dinger and a 17-2 lead. The Cougars' final run came in teh fifth as Bianca Duran had a 2-out, run-scoring double.
Amanda Jones captured the win in the circle giving up five runs of which only two were earned, 11 hits and striking out one.
WNCC could have had a sweep over the Rattlers, but a late-inning comeback fell short. The Cougars started the contest with two runs in the first inning as Sarah Hawryluk and Duran reached base with a walk and a double. Stubbs then came through with a 2-run single for the quick 2-0 lead.
Otero sliced the lead in half with a run in the first and then took a 4-2 lead after five with a 3-run home run. WNCC made a seventh inning comeback. as Shepherd started things with a single and scored on a no-out singleby Agle.
The Cougars finished with seven hits, led by Agle with a 2-for-3 game.
Duran was the hard-luck loser, allowing four hits, four runs and striking out four. Duran did not allow a earned run in her six innings in the circle.
WNCC, 30-24 overall and 14-4 in conference play. The Cougars have six conference games left, two with Northeastern Junior College and four games with Dawson on the road next weekend.
WNCC 200 000 1 -- 3 7 3
Otero 100 030 x -- 4 4 0
LP -- Bianca Duran; 2B -- Duran, Mariah Shepherd.
WNCC (30-24) 563 31 -- 18 17 3
Otero (32-11) 110 21 -- 5 11 2
WP -- Amanda Jones; 2B -- Danielle Hearn, Duran, Shepherd, Kasey Cash, Gabi Palacios; HR -- Aria Agle, Kasey Cash.