Darrell Moody: Purcell deals with season-ending injury | NevadaAppeal.com

Darrell Moody: Purcell deals with season-ending injury

Carson High graduate Jennifer Purcell had high hopes entering her junior season at Nevada.

Fast Pitch News had named her a second-team all-American and tabbed her one of the top 50 hitters in the NCAA. And, D1 Softball put her on the Player of the Year Watch List.

Purcell, who hit .412 a year ago with 12 homers and 40 RBI, was leading the team with a .375 average when disaster struck on March 5 in a 4-3 win over Southern Utah.

Purcell suffered a season-ending meniscus injury and recently underwent knee surgery.

"There was a runner on third and I was on second," Purcell said, while watching her teammates practice earlier this week. "Mel (Melissa Arriaga) hit a fly ball to left. The runner on third tagged and scored. I initially came a few steps off second. The ball got by the catcher a little bit, but not enough to go to third.

"The catcher threw to second so I figured I'd try to go to third. My body went but my leg didn't. My teammates told me I was trying to run, but I didn't go anywhere."

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Purcell said she heard and felt the injury. She said she knew it was bad the moment it happened.

"The trainers knew it was bad, they just didn't want to tell me," she said. "I'm hoping I get a medical redshirt year. Coach (Josh) Taylor said he would do everything he could.

"I was swinging it good. I felt like I was going to have a good offensive year. I was doing well defensively."

Purcell, who started all but one game before her injury, had handled 83 chances without an error. She has been replaced by Northern Nevada player Kenzi Goins, who's hitting .337 with 10 RBI.

Vondrak debuts

Clint Vondrak, a local professional baseball umpire and Carson High graduate, realized a dream when he called balls and strikes Friday night in an exhibiton game between Colorado and Seattle.

"It was a great experience, almost surreal," Vondrak said of his debut. "Walking onto the field and calling a game I grew up watching on television was very special. Overall, it was a great experience and just the beginning of a long journey."

Vondrak is currently slated to start the season at Double A, but he's the first call-up to Triple A should somebody get hurt or released.

• Nate White, another local umpire, worked the plate last week in a spring training Major League game. He has been a Triple-A umpire the past two seasons. Efforts to reach him were unsuccessful.

No agent for Cam .. yet

Nevada sophomore forward Cam Oliver, as many of you have heard by now, is going to test the NBA waters again.

He can pull his name out by a certain date and come back to Nevada which I think would be a prudent thing to do.

Oliver is a good rim protector and has nice range. Whether he can play good enough defense to impress NBA scouts may be another story.

Personally, I hope he comes back for one more season. I'd like nothing more than to see the Pack get back to the NCAA, and having Oliver on the squad makes that task a whole lot easier.

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