Nevada Travels To Stanford Nike Invitational
Feb. 16, 2012
Coming off a 1-4 start to the season at last weekend's Aggie Stampede in Davis, Calif., the Nevada softball team moves on to the Stanford Nike Invitational this week in Stanford, Calif. Nevada will play five games at this weekend's tournament, which features round-robin play to open before a bracketed tournament finale.
Nevada will open Friday against Pacific and then take on Bradley. On Saturday, the Wolf Pack will play the host Cardinal, which is ranked eighth in the nation. After that, the teams will be seeded according to finish in round-robin play. The top seed will take on the fourth seed followed by a matchup with the second seed versus the third seed.
On Sunday, the tournament concludes with the consolation game prior to the championship game.
ON THE AIR
Both of Friday's games - vs. Pacific at 10 a.m. and vs. Bradley at 12:!5 - will be carried live on 1450 AM in Northern Nevada and will be available (for a fee) at NevadaWolfPack.com. Saturday's game against Stanford will be an Internet broadcast only. If Nevada plays in the 4:45 p.m. game on Saturday, it will be carried on the radio on 1450 AM. If the Pack is in the 2:30 p.m., it will be an Internet-only broadcast. On Sunday, if Nevada is in the consolation game at 10 a.m., a radio broadcast is planned on 1450 AM. If Nevada is in the championship game, the game will be available on the Internet only.
PACK PICKED FIFTH
Nevada was picked to finish fifth in its final season in the Western Athletic Conference in the preseason poll, which was voted on by the coaches.
Fresno State took the top spot in the preseason poll with 44 points and three first-place votes. Hawai`i came in second, picking up two first-place votes and 42 points, followed by New Mexico State in third place with 37 points and two first-place votes. Brigham Young received the other first-place vote and came in fourth place with 35 points. Nevada was picked to finish fifth with 20 points, followed by San Jose State and Louisiana Tech tied for sixth with 17 points apiece. Utah State rounded out the poll in eighth place with 12 points.
Nevada was dealt a blow on the eve of the season when junior third baseman Erin Jones suffered a knee injury in practice. Jones is expected to miss the entire season. The junior was Nevada's lone representative on the Preseason All-WAC team after she earned second-team honors in 2011 by batting .362 with five home runs and 21 in her first season with the Pack after transferring from Sacramento State.
AROUND THE HORN
The Wolf Pack returns one All-Region player in sophomore shortstop Karley Hopkins. Hopkins played second base for the bulk of 2011 but will switch to shortstop in 2012 with the departure of four-year starter Danielle Patrick ... For the second straight season, the Wolf Pack will have the services of a Division I transfer. This year, Sparks native Karlyn Jones, who prepped at Spanish Spring High School along with Pack teammates Mallary Darby and Karley Hopkins, has transferred to Nevada after playing her freshman season at Pitt in 2011. Jones set a Pitt single-season and freshman record with a 1.57 earned-run average ... Nevada will be without the services of junior utility player Jayme King this season as the Fernley, Nev., native continues her treatment for a form of a cancer known as Ewing's sarcoma, which was diagnosed in the summer of 2011 ... In 2011, Nevada had two pitchers pitch in 92 percent of the innings played and just three pitchers on the roster. This year, Nevada will have five pitchers vying for time in the circle. Pitcher Bailey Brewer played in a handful of games for Nevada in 2011 before suffering a season-ending injury. She received a medical hardship from the NCAA and will be a redshirt freshman for the Wolf Pack in 2012 ... The Wolf Pack has four newcomers in 2012 including three freshmen in catcher Ashley Butera, pitcher Emily Seidel and utility player Molly McWilliams. The fourth newcomer is transfer Karlyn Jones ... The Wolf Pack will have the services of two players who redshirted last year due to injury as outfielder Sydney Jones and designated player Sam Puzey are both healthy for the 2012 season ... Nevada will play the first 20 games of the season in California at tournaments hosted by UC Davis, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara and San Diego State. The Wolf Pack won't play another game in the Golden State the rest of the year as WAC foes Fresno State and San Jose State will both travel to Reno this season ... Nevada knows exactly who it will play in 52 of the 54 games on its regular season schedule. The other two opponents will be determined as the Stanford Nike Invitational will have bracket play this year after three games of pool to open the tournament.