Joseph Edgecomb / The Collegian
Fresno State just couldnâ€™t come up with an answer against Nevadaâ€™s undersized sophomore pitcher Katie Holverson in last weekendâ€™s three-game series at Bulldog Diamond.
Holverson, who stands at just 5 foot, 4 inches, didnâ€™t allow a single run in the two full games she pitched; two games that ended in victories for the Wolf Pack.
The Bulldogs couldnâ€™t keep their eye on Holversonâ€™s heat. She finished the weekend with 18 strikeouts.
â€œThat little girl can throw the ball harder than anybody I know,â€ Nevada coach Michelle Gardner said. â€œSheâ€™s five-nothing and can throw 67, 68 miles per hour. Iâ€™m 5-10 and my best was 68, and she can do that in a snap.â€
In the first game of the series on, Holverson faced Fresno State freshman ace Morgan Melloh in an 11-inning marathon.
Both Melloh and Holverson kept the game scoreless for 10 full innings.
In the top of the 11th inning, senior Vanessa Briones hit a home run for the first run of the game.
Joseph Edgecomb / The Collegian
Despite being outshined by Mellohâ€™s 13 strikeouts, Holverson was able keep the game scoreless and pick up the win, 2-0.
After a night of rest, the new day brought a new game for the Fresno State squad. Senior outfielder Aja Scheuber said her team came into the game with a different mindset.
â€œWe came out, and we were thinking we needed a win,â€ Scheuber said.
Fresno Stateâ€™s offense returned to winning form as they kept Nevadaâ€™s senior pitcher Jordan McPherson to just two strikeouts.
Melloh returned to the diamond after Friday nightâ€™s marathon. After giving up a run in the first, Melloh regained composure and didnâ€™t allow much offense from Nevada. After the first inning the Wolf Pack went scoreless.
The Bulldogs scored four runs on just six hits. Much of Fresno Stateâ€™s offensive production came from extra bases as a result of Nevadaâ€™s errors.
All three errors lead to eventual runs by the Bulldogs.
â€œThe errors killed us,â€ Gardner said.
Fresno State ended the first game of the doubleheader 4-1.
After a short 20-minute intermission, the teams took back to the field.
Gardner came into the series knowing that she would have to endure the solid pitching from Fresno Stateâ€™s freshman ace Melloh.
â€œOur game plan was to play within ourselves,â€ Gardner said. â€œMorgan is a very good pitcher. Youâ€™re not going to put up a lot of runs against her.â€
Melloh was done pitching for the weekend.
Coach Margie Wright allowed Melloh to pitch both Fridayâ€™s game and the first game of the doubleheader, so she would not return. Instead, Fresno State started freshman Ashley Cox to face Holverson.
Holversonâ€™s dominance of Fridayâ€™s game carried over into Saturday. She kept Fresno State scoreless for the second game in a row.
Fresno State gave up as many hits as the first two games combined.
Holversonâ€™s speed and Nevadaâ€™s bats were too much for the Bulldogs.
The third game ended in a 5-0 loss for Fresno State, the biggest deficit for the team this season.
After the loss, Wright said she believed that Nevada deserved to be a top 25 nationally ranked team.
â€œThatâ€™s a good team,â€ Wright said. â€œThey get underestimated because they are in the [Western Athletic Conference].â€
Gardner agreed that this was a step in the right direction for her team.
â€œTo come in to Fresno and beat them two out of three games is enormous for our program,â€ Gardner said. â€œWhen we play defense we can beat anybody.â€
Though Wright said Holverson deserved credit, she thought her team could have given the pitcher more of a challenge.
â€œI think we could have given her a tougher battle,â€ Wright said. â€œOur kids needed to be able to hit the ball today, and they didnâ€™t.â€
Coming out of Saturdayâ€™s loss, Wright said there were things the Bulldogs definitely needed to work on before the end of the season.
â€œWeâ€™re going to work harder on the adjustments we need to make on that kind of pitching,â€ Wright said. â€œWe have to be prepared for the end of the year.â€
Nevada dropped to second place, despite beating the Bulldogs in the series.
The Bulldogs moved into third place despite the two losses.
Fresno State takes the field again on the road against UC Santa Barbra on Tuesday.
The Gauchos are 5-0 in the Big West and swept Cal Poly this past weekend.