Playing three games in one day is nothing new to the Western Nevada College softball team, but pitching back-to-back complete games certainly is. Freshman pitcher Carlee Beck went the distance in the second and third games against North Idaho College Saturday in Coeur d’Alene. She allowed just two runs per outing in helping the Wildcats win one of the three Scenic West Athletic Conference matchups with the Cardinals.
“It’s really a tough-hitting conference, and for her to go 14 straight innings, I’m really proud of that, and I’m really happy with what she’s done lately,” said WNC coach Leah Wentworth.
The teams agreed to pack the tripleheader into one day after Friday’s doubleheader was washed out.
“At this level, three games in a day is a little tough on their bodies and a challenge. It’s not ideal, but you do what you have to do,” Wentworth said.
Only a half-game separated the clubs going into the weekend as they battled for fifth place in the SWAC standings. After the Wildcats dropped the opener 6-1, Beck limited the Cardinals to four hits in seven innings as WNC evened the series with an 8-2 victory.
Emily Perlich quieted the Wildcat bats in the opening game, then outdueled Beck to win the deciding game of the series, 2-0. But in defeat, Beck continued to show her coaching staff and teammates skils in the circle.
“For her to come back for another seven innings, she really gave us a chance win with her performance on the mound,” Wentworth said.
In the opening game, Perlich surrendered just four hits in North Idaho’s 6-1 victory.
“We struggled to make adjustments at the plate,” Wentworth said. “She did a really good job of mixing it up on us. Her ball had good velocity and break to it.”
Jennifer Rechel delivered half of the Wildcats’ hits and scored her team’s only run in the sixth inning on an infielder error. She nearly scored earlier in the game but was tagged out at the plate on a close call with North Idaho leading 2-0.
Sydney Darby and Madison Gonzalez had the Wildcats other hits off Perlich.
Wildcats sophomore pitcher Ali Lostra worked into the fifth inning before being relieved by Alexia Alley.
It was a different story in game two as the Wildcats pounded out 12 hits and scored in three innings to support the four-hit pitching of Beck. WNC scored four times in the third and added two runs in the fourth and sixth innings. The big blow was a two-run homer off the bat of Rechel in the sixth inning, her third of the season.
“She’s started to get comfortable at the plate,” Wentworth said. “She’s really improving during the final stretch of the season.”
Four Wildcats supplied two hits, including Jennifer Quam, whose hitting line included a double. Gonzalez, Heather Septon and Alisha Nielsen contributed two hits, while Rechel, Darby, Allley and Beck knocked out a single.
In the series finale, Gonzalez continued her productive weekend, going 3 for 3. Quam had the only other hit off Perlich.
“Consistency at the plate has been our No. 1 (goal),” Wentworth said. “Pitching and defense have been there for us, but it comes down to whether you can hit. You have to hit to win.”
WNC will conclude its home schedule with a four-game series against Snow College on Friday and Saturday at Edmonds Sports Complex. Wentworth will honor her sophomores between games on Saturday.
“It will be really tough to see this class go, but it will be really exciting for what’s to come next for them,” Wentworth said.
Doubleheaders begin at 1 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday.