AT THE NCAA REGIONALS
Nevada received its first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament this year and will compete in the Regional hosted by UCLA. Nevada is the second seed in the tournament. The Wolf Pack’s first game in the four-team Regional is Friday at 2:30 p.m. against Purdue. The winner will face the winner of the UCLA-Cal State Fullerton. All of Nevada’s games will be available on GameTracker via www.NevadaWolfPack.com.
Every game of the Regional hosted by UCLA will be televised live on ESPNU. Beth Mowins (play-by-play) and Tracy Warren (color) will do the broadcast with Melissa Knowles as the dugout reporter during the games. This will be Nevada’s second appearance on national television this year as its 2-0 win over Fresno State on April 4 was carried on Comcast Sports Net.
The Wolf Pack softball team is coming off the best regular season in school history. Nevada went 42-16 and won its first Western Athletic Conference regular season title with a 16-2 mark. The team reached the championship game of the WAC Tournament but fell to red-hot Louisiana Tech.
The Pack set school records for victories and WAC victories this year. Nevada is nationally ranked and has eight wins over five ranked opponents. That includes a historic 1-0 upset over then-No. 1 Arizona at the Kajikawa Classic hosted by Arizona State, a series win (2-of-3) at then-No. 10 Fresno State the historic sweep over then-No. 15 Hawai`i.
Nevada returned the bulk of last year’s team that went 28-31 overall and came within a game of making it to its second-straight NCAA Tournament. Nevada brought back 15 letterwinners, all eight starters and its top two pitchers from last year’s team. Senior pitcher Jordan McPherson was named the Preseason Pitcher of the Year in the Western Athletic Conference this season. She was joined on the All-WAC Preseason Team by junior outfielder Brittany Puzey, who was an All-West Region selection in 2007. The Pack added four freshmen to the mix this year and the other newcomer is senior pitcher Richelle Villescas, a transfer from Temple. The Pack is coached by Michelle Gardner in her sixth year overall and at Nevada.
FOLLOW THE PACK ONLINE
News, notes, pictures and more can be found online at www.nevadawolfpack.com. Click on the “2008 NCAA Regional Central” link, which can be found on the website homepage or on the softball home page.
The online features links to every school in the Regional as well as daily news, statistics, game stories and box scores. Fifth-year senior infielder Kristin Stith will provide a daily blog from the tournament to give an inside look at the Wolf Pack’s tournament experience.
NEVADA’S REGIONAL HISTORY
This marks Nevada’s second foray into the NCAA Regionals since the school brought back the program in 2003. This is Nevada’s first at-large bid as the school’s first Regional appearance came in 2006 after the Wolf Pack won the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
In 2006, Nevada went to the Corvallis (Ore.) Regional, hosted by Oregon State. The Wolf Pack played the host Beavers in the first round of the Regional and fell 2-1. Nevada then played Portland State in the losers’ bracket game and lost to the Vikings 2-1 to get eliminated from the Regional.
The Boilermakers are making their first-ever NCAA Regional appearance after a 34-21 record this season, which included a 9-9 (fifth place) finish in the Big Ten.
Four Boilermakers are batting .300 or better led by junior second baseman Kelly Miller (.346). Junior shortstop Candace Curtis (.333), sophomore fi rst baseman Kelsey Haupert (.322) and senior third baseman Ashley Hall (.311) round out the group. Sophomore catcher Jenna Alexander (.284), sophomore outfi elder Ashley Barr (.275) and junior infi elder Katie Mitchell (.270) follow. Curtis leads the team with 39 RBI and 11 home runs.
In the circle, freshman Suzie Rzegocki (15-8) has recorded 121 strikeouts in 13 complete games, five shutouts and three saves. Junior Dana Alcocer (18-13) has fanned 130 batters in 186 innings, while tossing 16 complete games, including three shutouts.
Purdue is coached by Fresno State product Kim Maher. Nevada and Purdue have played one time before with Nevada taking a 12-6 win in 2004.
For the complete release, click on the PDF link at the top of this page.