Sara Parsons has an ace in the hole.
In the midst of fantastic season, the 2010 Fallon grad was chosen by coach Matt Meuchel to represent the Nevada softball team against the Reno Aces at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Aces Ballpark in Reno.
The Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, will play the Wolf Pack baseball team in a scrimmage as a fundraiser for the program. Due to NCAA rules, however, a female must be on the Pack’s baseball roster. In addition, Aces pitchers will throw for both sides.
Parsons, though, was all smiles after Meuchel called her and asked if she would like to play.
“Coach called me and asked me if I had class and I said no,” Parsons said. “He said ‘Do you want to play with the Aces?’ I said of course.”
Parsons will play “a couple” innings in centerfield and will not record an at-bat. Nevertheless, the Nevada junior jumped at the chance to participate.
“I really have no idea what to expect,” she said. “I’m just really excited for the opportunity to be on the field with them at that stadium. It gives us a little more exposure … and we’re not here to mess around.”
Parsons said her mother and father will be in attendance and numerous other Fallon residents have purchased tickets.
“It’s going to be surreal,” Parsons said of playing in front of friends and family. “I’m sure I’ll be awestruck and won’t be able to speak when I get there. And to have people from Fallon be there supporting me that’s going to be amazing.”
Her focus, however, is trained on rival Fresno State. The Wolf Pack (20-13) played the Bulldogs (18-13) on Thursday and cap the three-game series today and Saturday in Fresno to open Mountain West play.
“There’s not much I can do about the Aces game right now,” Parsons said. “We are neck-and-neck with them (Fresno State) and it’s going to be a great series.”
Parsons’ rise to dominance has been impressive. As a freshman, she struggled as the former Fallon star went 1-for-20 (.050) at the plate in 21 appearances (seven starts) at third base.
A year later, Parsons dedicated herself to becoming better in the offseason. She hit the weight room and increased her strength, speed and agility. The move paid off.
Meuchel moved Parsons to centerfield and her comfort in the batter’s box expanded. Parsons responded with a .294 average (45-for-153), three home runs, 23 RBIs, 27 runs scored, eight stolen bases and a team-high 17 doubles.
She was named to the Western Athletic Conference first team.
If last season was Parsons’ coming out party, this season has been Mardi Gras. She has started all 33 games and is hitting .347 — fifth on the club — belted six home runs, 10 doubles, stolen five bases and tallied a team-high 34 RBIs. Perhaps the most impressive statistic is Parsons has only struck out nine times in 101 at-bats.
Parsons’ six homers are tied for second with Ashley Butera and two behind Megan Fincher, who was last year’s representative in the Aces game.
Defensively, Parsons has committed one error in 53 chances, recorded 49 putouts and tallied three assists.