WNC softball trying to live up to impossible expectations
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
The Western Nevada College softball team has nearly impossible expectations to live up to. It doesn’t have the luxury of using the excuse of being a first-year program because its counterparts on the baseball team exceeded all thoughts in its inaugural season.
While the Wildcats (4-8) may not win 30 games or win the Scenic West Athletic Conference championship in its first season, they are trying to build the steps to get there every weekend.
The next step is today in a four-game road trip to play Snow College (1-5 SWAC, 2-9) in Ephraim, Utah. The two will play double-headers today and Saturday.
“Basically it’s understanding the league itself and knowing that now we’re going to have to recruit a little bit (more), a little bit differently, try to get a few more pitchers and stuff so we can compete with them,” WNC coach Scott Rasner said. “Because that’s what most of the game is, is pitching. If we get the girls swinging the bat right and getting them used to this pitching and get rid of the mental mistakes we’re going to be hanging with anybody.”
Pitching and mental mistakes are what have plagued the Wildcats in their first 12 games. Their two starting pitchers, Alyson Herman and Ambar Huish, have earned run averages of 5.65 and 9.22, respectively. The subpar pitching wasn’t helped last week when North Idaho College swept them in four games behind WNC’s 16 errors.
WNC had just nine errors on the year prior to last week, but now have the third most in the seven-team conference.
“Defense, 100 percent that’s what we’ve been working on,” Rasner said. “Actually, everything. We’ve spent a lot of time outside (playing) simulated games. We made a lot of errors and a lot of mental mistakes we’re going to try and take care of this week.”
With Snow College on the schedule this week, the Wildcats will likely have an opportunity to add to their four wins. The Badgers have struggled more than WNC in the errors department, with a second-worse 25. Colorado Northwestern leads the league with 29.
“Each weekend we’re learning something so each week we’re going to come back and try to improve on it each week,” Rasner said. “Hopefully we can catch some of these guys (off guard) or at least give them one hell of a run. It’s better than what we’re doing at the moment.”