Freshman Sam Oliver’s walk-off in the bottom of the eighth lifted the Nevada softball team (17-11, 11-4 conf.) to an eight-inning, 4-3 win over Colorado State on Sunday afternoon at Hixson Park. Sunday’s win also secured Nevada's fourth-consecutive Mountain West series victory.
Sophomore Kendall Fritz (8-3) starred on the mound for Nevada, giving up one earned run on eight hits and striking out five Rams hitters.
Offensively, Nevada was powered by Sam Oliver, who went 2-for-4 with two RBI, including her walk-off in the eighth. Freshman Chelie Senini also pieced together a standout performance going 2-for-4. Senior Kenzi Goins came through clutch for the Pack, tying the game at three in the bottom of the eighth on a solo home run to center. Ashley Salausa, Lauren Gutierrez and Sierra Mello each added a hit.
Nevada jumped on board in the first on a Gutierrez RBI single through the left side, scoring Senini from second.
The Pack added to its lead in the third on Oliver’s RBI single to center that scored Goins from third.
Colorado State added a pair of runs in the fourth to tie the game.
Then, the Rams took a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth on an RBI double to right.
In the bottom of the eighth, Goins’ solo launch to center tied the game at three. Following Goins, Mello drew a walk to place a runner at first with no outs. Then, Haley Burda’s sac bunt pushed Mello to third. On the next play, Oliver stepped up to the plate, powering Nevada to a 2-1 series victory on a walk-off to center.
“I was really hype going up to the plate since (Sierra) Mello took an extra base on (Haley) Burda’s sacrifice bunt, so we had a runner at third now instead of second," said Sam Oliver. "I went up to the plate saying ‘I got this. It’s my turn,’ I was so happy to be able to get that hit for my team. It was a surreal experience to grab my first-career walk-off. I’m proud of how my team stepped up today and didn’t back down.”
Up next, coach Taylor and the Pack travel to Fresno, Calif., on April 24-25 for a three-game series against Fresno State.