May 9, 2012

All-Conference Nominations Pfeiffer, Marble, Quam lead 'Cats into Postseason

Wildcats Confident About Regional Chances

Western Nevada College proved during the regular season, it could beat any softball team in the Scenic West Athletic Conference.

Now, the sixth-seeded Wildcats are out to earn some additional respect in the Region XVIII Tournament May 10-12 in Taylorville, Utah.

The Wildcats (21-39 overall) open the double-elimination tournament against Snow (32-18) at 11 a.m. (PST) on May 10.

WNC has more than doubled its win total from the program’s previous three years of existence. In the process, WNC surprised Salt Lake, the nation’s top-ranked team, 6-5 on Feb. 11. The Wildcats also knocked off second-seeded College of Southern Idaho 6-3 last weekend in a hotly contested series.

WNC defeated the other five teams in the SWAC at least once during the conference season.

“To tell you the truth, we’re really looking forward to coming out this weekend and showing these teams. I don’t think a lot of these teams have respect for us,” said WNC Interim Coach Rosie Contri.

To earn some additional respect, the Wildcats must first get by Snow, which has won seven of eight games against WNC this season. Six of those contests, however, were decided by five runs or less, including 2-1 and 7-6 defeats on April 20.

Many of the Wildcats might recall that Snow eliminated them last year’s regional tournament, 2-1.

Now in the fourth year of the program, the Wildcats are pursuing more than their first-ever postseason victory.

“We’re definitely going to come out, just like in basketball for March Madness, this is May Madness, where anyone can win as long as you show up,” Contri said. “I have confidence these girls will actually show up.”

The Wildcats are led by three players who have been nominated for postseason honors: sophomores Melanie Pfeiffer and Taleas Marble, and freshman Jennifer Quam.

Marble has hit a team-high 16 home runs in 169 at-bats, as well as 11 doubles and three triples. She also led the Wildcats with a .391 average, 49 RBIs, .775 slugging average and 131 total bases.

Pfeiffer, a shortstop, provided the Wildcats with a steady middle infield presence and hit .301. She tied Marble for the team lead with three triples, scored 34 runs and knocked in 20.

Quam has developed into a dangerous leadoff threat for the Wildcats. In addition to leading the Wildcats with 67 hits, Quam has become one of the nation’s top base stealers, swiping 55 bases in 59 attempts. Her .345 batting average was second to Marble and 49 runs topped the Wildcats.


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