By Will Compton
The Nevada softball team has been making moves all season, and as the final games start to close in, we look back on the Wolf Pack’s sensational season and how this team worked its way into the record books.
The Pack opened up the season at the Kajikawa classic in Tempe, Arizona, and went 3-2 overall. Nevada routed opponents such as Indiana University, Bradley University and East Carolina, but took losses from Boston College and the University of Wisconsin. This tournament was crucial for freshman Brooke Bolinger, as she claimed her first career win against East Carolina. The Pack felt like it could do much better, and that’s exactly what happened. In the Wilson/DeMarini Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Pack swept the series 6-0, taking down Robert Morris 9-0, Southern Utah 8-0 and UTEP 8-5, to name a few. Nevada hit seven home runs in the first game of the tournament against UC Davis and claimed 15 accumulative home runs over the whole weekend.
The following week came the Santa Clara Tournament, where Nevada went 5-0 again against four different opponents. Opening up against UConn and winning 8-7, Nevada was hot on an eight-game win streak, and carried it through the tournament for 13 consecutive victories, breaking the program record. Sophomore Chase Redington made news in this tournament as she pitched a complete game in her first start on the season.
The regular season was a scary start for Nevada, as the Pack played Sacramento State. Nevada won the first game 3-1, then took a heavy 8-0 loss in the doubleheader. Looking for redemption at home, the Pack’s home-opener was up against Sac. State again, and history repeated itself. Nevada won the first match 4-3, then lost 4-2. Nevada went right back to their strong suit, and took over the Grizz Classic Tournament the following weekend with a final record of 4-1. With momentum under its belt, Nevada went back to regular season play, with a triple-header at home against Boise State University. Nevada swept Boise, and went on to carry the momentum through the rest of the season.
The Pack is currently 13-9 in regular season play (30-12 overall) and is currently in third in the Mountain West Conference. The Pack is coming right off a brutal weekend with San Jose State University, as the No. 1 offense in the Mountain West swept Nevada in a triple-header. Now, the Wolf Pack looks ahead to play Colorado State, Fresno State, and Utah State to end the regular season.
Nevada is hitting .309 on the season, which actually isn’t that bad. The Pack has grabbed 213 runs, 358 hits and 201 RBIs. There is no doubt the Pack has offensive flow to their game, but it will need to step it up in the batter’s box, as well as the defense for a shot in the playoffs. SJSU is the number one team in the Mountain West, right behind the Pack is Fresno State and then Nevada, and so on.
Nevada hasn’t played Fresno this season, but has been routed by SJSU. Sophomore Jennifer Purcell and Senior Megan Sweet, hitting the best on the team with .412 and .401, are going to be relied on heavily in the playoffs. The two sluggers will be needed in order to outhit SJSU or Fresno in the playoffs. Junior McKenna Isenberg will be a factor as well, as her pitching has been on target all season. In the end, with these players, Nevada will need to come together and fight to have a shot at taking a title.
Will Compton can be reached at email@example.com and Twitter @TheSagebrush.