May 8, 2012
For the first time since 2009, the Nevada softball team will take part in the Western Athletic Conference Championships, which get underway Wednesday at the New Mexico State Softball Complex in Las Cruces.
Nevada is the fifth seed in the tournament and will take on fourth-seeded San Jose State in the tournament's opening game Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. (Pacific). In the second game of the opening day, third-seeded Fresno State will take on Louisiana Tech. Regular season champion Hawaii is the tournament's top seed and will play the winner of the Nevada-San Jose State game on Thursday. BYU is the second seed and will play the Fresno State-Louisiana Tech winner on Thursday.
The tournament is a double elimination format with the championship game set for Saturday afternoon.
All of Nevada's games in the tournament will be broadcast in Northern Nevada on ESPN Radio 1450 AM. The pre-game show will be 15 minutes before each game so the broadcast for the opening game against San Jose State will begin at 3:15 p.m. (Pacific).
The WAC will videostream the 2012 WAC Softball Tournament live from Las Cruces, N.M. Viewers can sign up by visiting www.WAC.tv. Every game of the tournament can be viewed for a single subscription price of $14.95, which will include on-demand viewing of any of the games the following day. More information and how to subscribe to any of these video streaming events can be found at www.WAC.tv.
PACK VS. SPARTANS
San Jose State won two of three from Nevada in season series between the teams. The Spartans took a pair of big wins over the Pack around a brilliant 1-0 shutout win by Nevada's Karlyn Jones in the second game of the series, which was April 6-7 at Hixson Park.
ALL-WAC ANNOUNCED WEDNESDAY
The All-WAC teams will be announced Wednesday prior to the tournament's first game at a pre-tournament banquet. Last year, Nevada had just one all-conference selection but has a handful of worthy candidates this season.
PARSONS LEADS WAC IN DOUBLES
Entering the WAC Championships, Nevada sophomore Sara Parsons leads the Western Athletic Conference in doubles with 17 on the year. With .31 doubles per game, Parsons is 25th in the nation in that category.
With the certainty of at least two games remaining in the season Parsons has a chance to break Nevada's single-season record for doubles. The record is 18 and is held by three players: Jiliane Hartfiel (2004), Brittany Puzey (2007) and Noelle Micka (2008).
In 20 at-bats as a freshman, Parsons did not have a double.
NEVADA IN THE NCAA STATS
Nevada enters this week with three players ranked in the top 50 in one NCAA in four different categories.
The list is headed by sophomore pitcher Karlyn Jones, who leads the country in walks allowed per seven innings at 0.58 per seven. She is also 35th in the nation in saves with three.
Sara Parsons is 25th in doubles per game and junior outfielder Megan Fincher is 15th in sacrifice flies with four on the year.
Mallary Darby is third at Nevada in virtually every pitching category in the Wolf Pack record books. And the senior from Spanish Spring is also near the top of several active career leaders lists within the Western Athletic Conference.
Entering this week, Darby is fifth in career wins with 44. She is second in career complete games with 63 and second in innings pitched with 663.2 (trailing in both only Stephanie Rickets from Hawaii , this week's opponent). Darby is also third in career strikeouts with 555.
All of Nevada's games will feature GameTracker coverage on NevadaWolfPack.com. Additionally, fans can get updates and more information by following @NevSoftball on Twitter.
BUTERA NAMED WAC HITTER OF THE WEEK (March 5)
DENVER - Nevada's Ashley Butera and Hawai`i's Stephanie Ricketts have been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for Feb. 27-March 4. This is the first-ever honor for Butera and the second of the season and ninth overall for Ricketts.
Butera, a freshman catcher player from Saugus, Calif. (Saugus HS), hit .533 (8-for-15) with a triple and four home runs in five games for the Wolf Pack at the San Diego Classic last weekend. Butera recorded 22 total bases as she had an on-base percentage of .563 and a slugging percentage of 1.467. She drove in seven runs and scored four. Butera started behind the plate all five games and played errorless ball at catcher. In Nevada's win over San Diego State, she started the Wolf Pack comeback with a solo home run in the fourth inning.
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.