Carson High’s Jailene Salciedo a top dual threat
Jailene Salciedo is arguably one of the best double threats in Northern Nevada softball.
Carson High’s junior right-hander has thrown all but 30 innings over the Senators’ 23 games. She has thrown 109 1/3 innings and nearly 1,900 pitches en route to posting a 11-8 record. And, as Carson fights for a playoff spot, she has shouldered the heavy load, throwing 35 of Carson’s last 38 innings.
She has helped herself offensively with a robust .521 average with three homers and 36 RBI. Salciedo is a huge reason why Carson is challenging to finish in the top half of the 4A for the first time since Scott Vickrey was head coach.
And, more importantly, she’s a great teammate and works extremely hard.
“You talk to anybody that has played with or against her, and you won’t ever hear anybody say anything negative about her,” said Eddie Doughty, who coaches Salciedo with the Hot Shots, a travel ball team based out of the Minden-Garderville area. “She is one of my favorite players I’ve ever coached. I’ve coached her since she was 9, and she has a great attitude and works hard.”
That attitude and work ethic has enabled Salciedo to shoulder a heavier workload for the Senators this year.
“She is a year older and year more mature,” said first-year head coach Carlos Mendeguia, who watched the Senators plenty of times last season. “We talked to her, and we’ll go as far as she can carry us.
“She plays year round and puts work in the weight room. She is doing all the right things she needs to do. She has become a very good all-around player.”
Leadership has maybe been the biggest adjustment. It’s not something Salciedo has ever felt comfortable with. She usually just considers herself just one of the girls. On a team that only has a couple of seniors, she’s expected to set the tone.
“There is a lot on my shoulders to (help) carry the team,” Salciedo said before Wednesday’s practice. “I’ve never been a leader. I’ve been more of a bystander.
“My arm has been sore a lot. I use a lot of Icy Hot, but it’s all good. I take it easy between games.”
At first glance a 11-8 record and 4.87 ERA doesn’t look impressive. Salciedo has shown the ability to get out of jams thanks to her ability to throw a change-up for strikes and solid defense.
“This is a good hitting league,” Mendeguia said. “Almost every team has good hitters up and down the lineup. It’s a hitter’s league. Girls are taking softball more seriously and playing a lot of travel ball. The change-up is the equalizer. It makes hitters think about what’s coming at them, and they just can’t sit on a fastball.”
“Last high school season my change-up was God-awful,” she said. “I used it strictly as a waste pitch; would throw it off the plate. I worked really hard on it during the off-season and last summer. This year I can throw it for strikes; can throw it anytime in the count.”
Doughty said Hot Shots assistant coach Joe Gooch has worked a lot with Salciedo to add the change to her repertoire.
It certainly has made Salciedo a more complete player. Especially since the rubber was moved back to 43 feet, pitchers can’t get by with just speed. The hitters have caught up, and Salciedo knows that.
“She can spin the ball; move it around,” Doughty said. “She has worked hard. When she first started to play for me, she was our No. 3 pitcher. I think she will be our No. 1 this summer. She has worked hard and has continued to get better.”
Salciedo gives a lot of credit to her catcher, her younger sister Alex.
“It helps a lot throwing to her,” Jailene said. “I’ve thrown to her for the last 8-10 years, and she knows me well.”
This summer will be the key in her recruiting, and her Hot Shots travel team has played in plenty of college showcases the past couple of summers, and the Hot Shots will play in six tournaments this year. She has been exposed to plenty of junior colleges and Division II schools.
Salciedo said she has gotten some interest from several schools in New Jersey, California and Pennsylvania.
“I’d prefer to go to school back East,” she said. “I want to go into nursing, and the schools (back East) have told me that I would be able to do that.”
And Salciedo believes she will pitch, and not be a position player, at the next level and that seems to be the consensus of her coaches.
“The chart I’ve been reading is that at the D-2 level, you should be throwing between 56 and 62 mph and she is right there,” Doughty said. “She spins the ball well and hits her spots.”
“She is going to get stronger and better (pitching and hitting),” Mendeguia said. “At the NIAA level and D-2 level, I think she can pitch. At the junior college level, I think she could do both (pitch and hit). She is a very good hitter.”