Pack Softball's Bats Heat Up, But Pacific Takes 6-3 Win
March 15, 2013
Thursday, March 14
FULLERTON, Calif. - NC State's softball team had five extra-base hits, including a pair of solo home runs, but lost a close 6-3 decision to Pacific on Friday night in its third game in the Judi Garman Classic on the campus of Cal State-Fullerton.
Both sophomore shortstop Renada Davis and senior outfielder Bethaney Wells hit balls deep over the fence on Field 1 of the Titan Softball Complex. For Davis, it was her ACC-leading 10th homer of the season. For Wells, who has led the Pack in home runs in each of the last two seasons, it was her second.
Junior Scout Albertson had a pair of doubles in the contest, including one in the top of the seventh inning when the Wolfpack brought the tying run to plate but was unable to score additional runs.
The Pack (11-11-1) committed three errors in the field and gave up three unearned runs in the game after clawing its way back to a one-run deficit. Pacific grabbed an early lead with four runs in the bottom of the first inning, on a pair of walks, a pair of singles and a two-run double.
"I was disappointed that we gave up four runs right out of the gate like that," said first-year coach Shawn Rychcik. "We gave up a couple of walks and let some balls get through that shouldn't have. To give them those runs in the first inning really dug a hole for ourselves."
Wolfpack pitcher Emily Weiman (10-10) retired 11 of the next 12 Pacific hitters, then pitched out of a second-and-third jam in the fifth after giving up a pair of right-field singles.
The Pack cut Pacific's lead in half on Davis' homer in the third and an unearned run when junior second baseman Chelsea Tate reached on an error and scored on senior Caitlin Dent's double to left-centerfield.
Wells brought the Pack, which had scored one run in its previous five games, back within one with her long shot over the centerfield wall.
"We hit the ball hard and put them in play, but then we gave away two more runs in the sixth," Rychcik said. "We just made too many mistakes to be successful."
The Pack gave up three unearned runs in the sixth after a double, a walk and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out.
Pacific made its second out on a pop up to freshman third baseman Lana Van Dyken, but the Pack committed a fielding and throwing error on the next play that allowed the Tigers' two insurance runs to score.
State threatened in the seventh, when catcher Kirsty Grant was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on Albertson's second double of the day, a hard shot with two outs in between third and short that caromed off the shortstop's glove and over the leftfield line.
But Pacific relief pitcher Carly Mortensen (2-1) struck out the final batter to finish the game.
"It was a good sign to see our bats get a little livelier," Rychcik said. "We have seen a lot of good pitching out here, so it was good to see us learn from that and do a better job at the plate."
The Pack will play its final two games in the five-day tournament on Saturday, when it faces No. 15 Michigan at 1 p.m. EDT and No. 9 Texas at 6 EDT. Follow the action via Gametracker, on Twitter at @PackSoftball and on www.GoPack.com/softball.