The Reed softball team wasn’t going to go undefeated this year. It just wasn’t going to happen.
Yes, the Raiders are loaded. Yes, the Raiders are experienced. And yes, any team that claims they’re not at least a little intimidated by the Raiders is lying.
It’s just too difficult a task to accomplish.
Reed’s perfect start to the season ended after 14 games when it fell to Lincoln 2-1 in Friday’s first contest in Sacramento as part of the Victory Tournament. The Raiders then played Vacaville to a 0-0 tie in the nightcap.
Reed was 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position in the pair of non-victories.
It wasn’t surprising the defending state champs dropped a game on the road trip. A lot of good teams participated. But it was surprising who they lost to. Lincoln owns a losing record.
Reed coach Jon Wunder elected to start backup pitcher Aliya Lange in the game—a sign he felt comfortable going in. When he realized his squad wasn’t going to run away with it, he sent ace Julia Jensen into the game but the offense wasn’t able to push just one run across and tie the game.
The contest was called after five innings due to time restrictions. So it was a cheap loss. It shows up in the L column just the same.
Reed responded on Saturday with two of its better wins of the season so this may be an example of an early-season loss helping a team.
The Raiders have looked flat (by their lofty standards) in a number of games this spring. A loss may have been what this team needed to really get going.
Huge week looms for Spanish Springs baseball
The DI North baseball playoff picture is a mess.
Reed, Carson, Reno, Bishop Manogue and Damonte Ranch are all tied for third place at 8-4. In front of them, Spanish Springs and Galena are tied for first at 10-2. So the difference between first place and seventh place is just two games.
DI North baseball standings:
Sp. Springs 10-2
This is going to get wild.
— Nathan Shoup (@Trib_Shoup) April 17, 2016
The Cougars passed a big test last weekend, earning a split with a good Carson team, but they certainly don’t get a reprieve this week. Spanish Springs will play in the biggest series of the year to date against Galena.
The first game is this afternoon at Galena and the second is Thursday at Spanish Springs.
The Cougs can’t win the league title this week but they can likely lose it. Although, a sweep would put them four games clear of everyone with eight games left. Getting swept would leave them two games back of the Grizzlies, but Galena would also own the head-to-head tiebreaker, effectively leaving the Cougs three games back.
Sweeping Galena will be incredibly difficult. The Grizzlies own arguably the best offense in the DI North.
Spanish Springs should enter this week with aspirations of a split.
Oliver leaving Nevada for NBA, maybe
Nevada freshman sensation Cam Oliver announced Friday afternoon on Twitter/Instagram that he will be entering the NBA draft. However, he is not hiring an agent.
— Cam Oliver (@SpaceCamm) April 15, 2016
That means if he does not like the feedback from scouts of where he will be taken (if he is taken), he has the option to return to Nevada for his sophomore season.
It’s a smart move for Oliver, and to be honest, I don’t understand why more underclassmen exercise this option. There is absolutely no risk, other than maybe hurting the feelings of a few die hards, something I’d wager Oliver cares little about.
Oliver was a beast this year and down the stretch, there was no defense for him. He finished his freshman season scoring 13.4 points per game, grabbing a team high 9.1 rebounds per game, and blocking 99 shots, a new program record.
In the final month of the season, he showed a greatly-improved shot from the outside—something NBA scouts undoubtedly love.
Oliver played the 5 for Nevada this year. Standing 6-8, 225, NBA teams would likely ask him to move to the 3.
If he’s projected to get taken in the second round, the consensus is that he will come back next year and join a Nevada team that is poised to make a run at the Mountain West title.
If he is projected as a first-round pick, it’s likely adios Oliver.