WNC to Play CSN in Region 18 Opener
The Western Nevada College softball team heads to Twin Falls, Idaho on Wednesday for the Region 18 Tournament. The Wildcats will face the Coyotes of the College of Southern Nevada at 4 p.m. PST, Wednesday, for their first game in the double-elimination tournament.
“At this point of the season, it’s about how bad you want it,” said WNC coach Leah Wentworth. “We’re looking to survive and advance. Everybody has a clean slate, and we’re excited to see what the girls can do.”
The Coyotes swept a four-game set from the Wildcats on the final weekend of the regular season to run their winning streak to nine games, but WNC can take heart in knowing they took three of four games from the Coyotes on March 15 and 16 at Edmonds Sports Complex in Carson City.
Freshman Sydney Darby leads a Wildcat club looking for the college’s first postseason victory. Darby hit .356 wit a school-record-tying 16 home runs and 52 RBI. Freshman Alisha Nielsen has also been consistent in the batter’s box, hitting .346 with five home runs and 24 RBI.
Sophomore center fielder Jennifer Quam, a first-team all-region selection a year ago, takes a .300 batting average and 48 stolen bases into the postseason.
Freshman second baseman Madison Gonzalez has elevated her batting average to .287 with a strong finish and freshmen Heather Septon (.272, two homers) and Andrea Lee (.269, three homers) give the Wildcats the potential to score a flurry of runs.
Pitching ultimately determines a team’s fate, and WNC is looking for more consistent from its hurlers in the coming week. Sophomore Ali Lostra (6-15, 4.98 earned run average) and Carlee Beck (8-17 5.39 ERA) lead the Wildcats in the circle.
Wentworth said her pitching staff needs to right itself in order to give the Wildcats a chance to win. Lostra has been searching to rediscover an effective changeup after being struck by a hit earlier in the season, while Beck been struggling early in her outings in the circle, Wentworth said.
Despite their struggles last weekend, Wentworth said she is pleased with the progress of her Wildcats this season.
“I haven’t had a team grow as much as this team has in one year,” she said.
If the Wildcats win their tournament opener, they will play either Salt Lake or Colorado Northwestern at 1:30 p.m. PST, Thursday, May 9. A loss will send the Wildcats into an 8:30 a.m. Thursday matchup with Colorado Northwestern or Salt Lake.
“I do think this team is capable of anything if they put their heart and mind to it. When all of us are on, we are an incredibly tough team to beat,” Wentworth said.
Tournament bracket and live stats for all Region 18 Softball Tournament games are available online via the College of Southern Idaho Athletics website, http://athletics.csi.edu/
Press Release: May 7, 2013
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