If you weren’t at Lawlor on Friday night, you missed out.
Even the most casual of fans couldn’t have helped but get goosebumps at certain points down the stretch of what was maybe the most anticipated Nevada sporting event since the football team beat No. 4 Boise State in 2010.
There hasn’t been a whole lot of reason for optimism inside Lawlor the last couple years, so the following comment comes with an asterisk, but that was the loudest Lawlor has been since I started covering the team in 2013.
The combination of a massive crowd (9,043) and playoff spirit made for an incredible environment. Nevada fans should be proud of their showing Friday night, and throughout the entire CBI really.
With so much reason for optimism in the coming seasons, a packed and vociferous Lawlor should become the norm.
Nevada baseball, softball trending in right direction
With the basketball team’s run through the CBI the last couple weeks, it would’ve been easy to overlook what the Nevada baseball and softball teams are doing.
The baseball team (13-12, 6-4) sits in third place in the Mountain West and had won six straight before Sunday’s home game with San Diego State reached the travel curfew in the top of the 10th inning.
The Pack will get a reprieve from conference play until it goes to Fresno State for a big three-game series starting April 15. The Bulldogs are 19-8, 8-3.
The softball team is in the middle of the most improbable season. The Wolf Pack sits at 25-8, 6-3 in the Mountain West after getting picked to finish eighth (out of nine teams) in the Mountain West.
Nevada has winning streaks of 11 and six this season but has cooled considerably since conference play started, dropping three of its last five.
The Wolf Pack doesn’t host another Mountain West series until April 22 when San Jose State (14-17, 3-0) comes to town.
Ozoude has monster day at Rotary Invitational
Last year, as a sophomore, she won the 200m DI state title by .81 seconds. She was disqualified for a false start in the 100m final.
On Saturday, she won the 100m, 200m and 400m events at the Rotary Invitational—a meet that featured athletes from 21 different schools.
We’re still a month plus from regional (May 14) and state (May 21) meets, but Ozoude appears to be ready.
When will Reed softball lose?
The Raiders started last season 24-0 before finally falling at Bishop Manogue, 4-3, on April 21.
They are off to another perfect start to the season, winning their first 11 games of the 2016 season. So when will they wear their first loss of the season?
They host Galena (5-4, 4-2) on Thursday and a home doubleheader against Douglas (7-7-1, 3-2) on Saturday. If Reed can get through this week unscathed, it will head into the Victory Tournament in Sacramento at 14-0.
Reed, which won that tournament for the first time last season, was scheduled to open this season with the tournament but it was rescheduled to April 15-16 due to weather.
In that tournament, the Raiders will play some of their stiffest competition of the season.
Gabby Williams closes in on another title at UConn
Reed grad Gabby Williams is one win away from her second national title playing for the UConn women’s basketball team.
The sophomore didn’t put up huge numbers in the 80-51 Final Four victory over Oregon State on Sunday afternoon, scoring eight points and pulling down five rebounds, but she did receive postgame praise from coach Geno Auriemma.
Without being asked about Williams from the ESPN on-court reporter right after the game, Auriemma made specific mention of Williams’ showing.
Starter Katie Lou Samuelson broke her foot in the first half of the win over OSU and Williams is a candidate to fill that starting role in Tuesday night’s national title game against Syracuse.
Humble brag time
For the second-straight year, I created a Sparks Tribune sports NCAA Tournament pool.
I finished second last year.
However, if North Carolina can get past Villanova in tonight’s title game, I’ll improve upon last year’s runner-up finish. I also think it would be the first time I ever correctly predicted the tournament champion.
So, go Heels.
Nathan Shoup can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org