The Western Nevada College softball team took the field for the first time this week as it began fall practice for its inaugural season.
Fifteen of the 18 players on the team are from Nevada. The team is coached by Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame member Dick Allen, who led the Wooster softball program to greatness.
"There's a lot of talent in Nevada, and we've had a lot of interest and a good turnout for the team," Allen said. "We're giving players a chance to take their game beyond high school, and we're giving fans the chance to cheer for a local college team."
The Wildcats will play in the Scenic West Athletic Conference, the same conference as the WNC baseball team. Other SWAC schools are the College of Southern Nevada, College of Southern Idaho, Colorado Northwestern Community College, North Idaho College, Salt Lake Community College and Snow College.
The season begins Friday, Jan. 30, in Henderson with a five-game tournament hosted by CSN. There, the Wildcats will meet teams from Arizona, California, Nebraska and Tennessee.
The Wildcats will host their first homestand on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 13-14, against North Idaho College at Centennial Park.
In addition the Wildcats will play several scrimmages this fall, beginning on September 20 and 21 when they host Sierra, Solono and Feather River Community Colleges here in Carson City.
The fall scrimmage season will conclude on Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. against the University of Nevada in Reno. Players on this year's roster are:
Catchers: Aanstacia Kreider, Lovelock; Stephanie Meibert, Spanish Springs; Devin Steelman, Spanish Springs. Infielders: Alexandria Arciniega, Spanish Springs; Amanda Cary, North Valleys; Frances Estrada, Fernley; Kelsie Fahr, Coronado; Danielle Ming, Spanish Springs; Lisa Senko, McArthur, Calif.; Niesha Washington, Hug; Ashley Williams, Cottonwood, Calif.
Outfielders: Christa Casci, Carson High; Brittany Naastad, North Valleys; Alisha Perry, Palo Verde; Alissa Rampa, Centennial. Pitchers: Alyson Herman, Santa Monica, Calif.; Ambar Huish, Lowry; Annalee Rubio, Spanish Springs.
Allen's assistant coaches are Louie Sanchez and Scott Rasner.
The WNC baseball team has also begun fall practice and will hold an intrasquad scrimmage at 11 a.m. Sunday at John L. Harvey Field. The scrimmage is open to the public and admission is free.
All 17 pitchers on the WNC roster are scheduled to pitch in the nine-inning scrimmage. WNC returns two of the SWAC's top starting pitchers last year in Josh Moody and Kyle Starratt.
Others who have joined WNC's pitching staff is Galena's Eric Maupin, a redshirt freshman, who redshirted last year at Washington State.