Western Nevada College Softball Coach Leah Wentworth announces three area players who will be on the Wildcats roster in 2015:
– Carson High School pitcher Kaitlyn Jimmy
– Reed High School infielder Britni Greninger and
– Bishop Manogue High School infielder Katie Gonzales. All signed letters of intent Wednesday to attend WNC.
The trio joins a roster already laden with local talent. Ten of the teamâ€™s 17 current roster members hail from Northern Nevada programs.
â€œItâ€™s always been our mission to support the local talent, and weâ€™ve done a good job of bringing in kids from all over the state. This recruiting class will be no exception,â€ Wentworth said. â€œWeâ€™re really excited to have these girls.â€
Jimmy, a senior right-hander, is working toward a big senior year with the Senators.
â€œKaitlyn has improved her skills immensely since last spring and I expect her to have a huge impact on the success our softball team. She will be one of our leading pitchers,â€ said Carson High coach Shelby Tuttle. â€œKaitlyn has worked very hard to become a competent pitcher. She is one who works above and beyond the many hours we put in through our program.â€
Jimmy said that Wednesdayâ€™s signing was the culmination of her hard work.
â€œIt means a lot to me because Iâ€™ve worked at this for so long and it took a lot of dedication to get where I am right now,â€ Jimmy said.
Jimmy made several appearances for the Senators last season and is a four-year member of the softball program.
â€œIt has been my privilege to coach her the last few years,â€ Tuttle said. â€œI think WNC will be a great fit for her, as she will be for (WNCâ€™s) program. I look forward to her future success.â€
Gonzales has a history of a strong work ethic and attitude at Bishop Manogue.
â€œKatie is a hard worker day in and day out at practice,â€ said Manogue Coach Dave Hargrove. â€œShe always has a great attitude and shows up with a smile. I look for her to continue to contribute to the team in 2014 as well as bring her hard work ethic to every practice.â€
The 5-foot-7 Gonzales plays 2B and DHs for the Miners. As a junior, she hit .281 and accumulated a .303 on-base average.
By continuing her softball career less than hour from home means that Gonzales will have a larger cheering section.
â€œItâ€™s special because I get to play in college in something that I really love to do and also learn at the same time,â€ Gonzales said. â€œIt means a lot to have my family and friends be here and watch me play.â€
Greninger brings a propensity for extra-base hits and experience with winning to the Wildcatsâ€™ program.
â€œSheâ€™s really a great find for you guys,â€ said Reed fourth-year softball coach Jon Wunder. â€œShe certainly contributed to the success of our team last year and weâ€™re expecting even bigger things out of her this year.â€
Remaining close to home was an extra bonus for the dream-fulfilling Greninger.
â€œMy dream has always been to play college softball, so getting the opportunity to play at Western Nevada and still be close to home with such a great program, it just means a lot,â€ Greninger said.
With the flexibility to play second or third base, Greninger gives Wentworth some infield options. Wunder said Greninger predominantly plays third base, but he can switch her to second when needed.
â€œThatâ€™s what I like about Britni. Sheâ€™s all about the team first and Britni second,â€ Wunder said. â€œShe does what sheâ€™s asked.â€
Greninger delivered big when it counted the most, providing four hits, including a homer, when Reed swept two games from Douglas last May to win the Division I North championship.
â€œEverything that I brought to the Reed team, I want to bring it to the Western Nevada team with my bat and my fielding â€¦ anything that I can to help contribute as much as possible,â€ Greninger said.
She earned honorable mention when coaches selected the High Desert All-League players following the regular season.
Recruiting Northern Nevada high school talent remains a top priority for Western Nevada College softball coach Leah Wentworth.
Providing players with a place to remain close to home to further their education and softball careers gives the Wildcats more local appeal.