The North Idaho College softball team split a doubleheader against Wenatchee Valley College with NIC winning the first game 8-0 and Wenatchee Valley taking the second game 2-0 Monday at Memorial Field in Coeur d’Alene.
NIC sophomore pitcher Emily Perlich earned the win in the first game. She struck out the side to begin the game and pitched four more scoreless innings to keep Wenatchee Valley’s offense in a deep rut.
The Knights threatened to score a few times but Perlich and the Cardinal defense dug themselves out of trouble.
With runners on first and second base in the bottom of the first inning, NIC sophomore catcher Shelby Carter singled to bring home second baseman Kylene Hatton.
After Tori Schuler reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kellsi Parson in the bottom of the second inning, Hatton drove in Schuler with a hit to right field. Hatton advanced to third after the ball rolled past the Wenatchee Valley right fielder.
The next batter, shortstop Heather Bishop, singled to score Hatton to extend the Cardinals’ lead 3-0.
After Bishop stole a couple bases, Carter blasted a two-run home run to right-center field with two outs to bring the score to 5-0.
First baseman Kelsey LaVaute lead off the bottom of the third inning with a home run that bounced off the left field foul pole.
Carter made her presence felt again with an RBI single down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth to open up a 7-0 Cardinal lead.
Hatton tripled to right field with one out in the fifth and scored on a catcher’s obstruction call. The catcher tagged Hatton out at the plate but the home plate umpire declared her safe because the catcher blocked the plate before she received the throw, which ended the game because of the eight-run rule.
In the second game, the first inning run scored by Wenatchee Valley proved to be the difference.
In the top of the first inning, Wenatchee Valley’s Julia Rambo hit an RBI single up the middle scoring Becky Wall.
In the top of the second inning, center fielder Amber Meyers made a diving catch on the edge of the infield dirt to prevent the runners on first and second from advancing. The Cardinals (11-20) escaped from the inning with the Knights still leading 1-0.
Wenatchee Valley’s Hailey Bator struck out the side in the bottom of the fourth.
Kirstie Thomas homered in the sixth inning for the Knights to seal the win.
NIC will be back in action Friday and Saturday in doubleheaders against Scenic West Athletic Conference opponent Salt Lake Community College. Friday’s doubleheader starts at 1 and Saturday’s starts at noon at Memorial Field.