She’s picking up right where she left off at Reed.
After playing an integral role in the Raiders’ four-straight regional titles, Kenzi Goins is once again giving pitchers problems. Now she’s doing it at Nevada.
Goins, a true freshman, has settled into the cleanup position and playing first base. She was a shortstop in high school.
The Reed alum has started 30 of Nevada’s 36 games and is second on the team in batting average (.346), second in at bats (104), first in hits (36), first in doubles (8) and fourth in RBIs (15).
She’s also fielding at the healthy clip of .978.
In Saturday’s 8-2 win at New Mexico, Goins blasted her second home run of the season.
Reed grad launches second of her career/season. Pack in Albuquerque. https://t.co/YZXaxmlazq
— Nathan Shoup (@Trib_Shoup) April 8, 2017
Nevada (20-16, 6-6) sits in second place in the Mountain West and returns home to Hixson Park on Thursday to start a three-game series against last-place UNLV (20-17, 3-6).
Current Reed seniors Julia Jensen (pitcher) and Jessica Sellers (outfielder) will join Goins at Nevada next spring.
Spanish Springs softball surprising early
The defending state champs always enter the ensuing season with the metaphorical target hanging between their shoulder blades.
While that will continue to be true for the Cougs this season, the bulls eye is hardly substantial. And it’s certainly not holding them back.
This year’s team lost five seniors to graduation (most notably pitcher/power hitter Hayley Fein) and added a staggering total of five freshmen to the mix. The Cougars are the reigning champs, yes, but they are anything but the same team.
With the unfamiliar cast, the new-look Cougs are off to an 16-4, 8-1 start. They sit alone in first place atop the 4A North, one game clear of McQueen and a game and a half in front of Reed.
Scheduling is always a factor in early season records and Spanish Springs has taken care of the teams it should (Wooster, Carson, Douglas and Galena), but it proved the hot start is legitimate last Wednesday, splitting a doubleheader at Bishop Manogue.
The Cougs also have non-league wins over Reno and McQueen.
Relying on freshman pitching (freshmen have thrown 67.2 of the team’s 112 defensive innings) can prove hazardous come playoff time. It hasn’t cost Jeff Davidson’s team yet.
And winning with green players in unfamiliar roles is a familiar situation for Davidson. Spanish Springs has won seven of the last 11 league titles, and two of the last three.
The Cougars can build on their lead Saturday when they host McQueen for a doubleheader.
Muss to throw out first pitch at Aces’ home opener
Does baseball season really start before the team returns to its own yard?
The Reno Aces officially began their season on Thursday with the first of a five-game series at Fresno but make their first appearance at Greater Nevada Field tonight against Albuquerque at 6:35 p.m.
For those who have not made their way to the downtown ballpark this spring, it will be the first look at the vastly upgraded video scoreboard in left field. The improvements were part of a $1.1 million project.
It will also be the first public appearance for Nevada basketball coach Eric Musselman since he pulled his name from consideration at Cal and agreed to an extension at Nevada on March 22.
Musselman, fresh off taking Nevada to its first NCAA Tournament since 2007, will throw out the first pitch. The entire 2016-17 team that won Mountain West regular-season and tournament titles will be honored.
“Opening day is a celebration, not just for baseball, but for our entire community,” said Reno Aces and Reno 1868 President Eric Edelstein in a release. “We’re honored to have Coach Musselman and his championship team out to celebrate this special day.”
Hitting coach Greg Gross is serving as interim manager for the Aces while first-year manager Jerry Narron is filling in as the Diamondbacks’ bench coach. Narron joined the big club on Feb. 20 after bench coach Rod Gardenhire was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Reno won last year’s season opener, 8-0, over El Paso.
Nathan can be reached via email at email@example.com. His weekly column, ‘Shoup Shots,’ was named the best column in the state of Nevada (community division) by the Nevada Press Association. It runs in the hard copy of the Sparks Tribune every Tuesday morning.