Coyotes Softball Still Competitive with Only 13 Active Players

The team (photos courtesy Alessandro Giampaolo)

The team (photo courtesy Alessandro Giampaolo)

By Devin Virissimo

Thirteen is the lucky number for College of Southern Nevada’s Coyotes softball team as it heads into the final half of its season in hopes of winning its conference.

The women’s softball team had 21 players at the beginning of the season. Now only 13 active players remain heading into the final 16 games. Ineligibility and season-ending injuries have reduced the team’s roster to a limited number.

The team was ranked second in the National Junior College Athletic Association softball standings as of March 11, 2015 in the Top 20 National Poll. The team fell from the rankings with some hard losses but now sits third in the Scenic West Athletic Conference with a 16-8 conference record and 24-11 overall, as of April 6.

The women are just four games out of first place in its conference.

The team has a limited roster with only four players capable of stepping in any given game. Player’s must remain prepared and fit to play.

“Our biggest challenge is keeping everyone healthy,” said Head Softball Coach Callen Perreira, commenting on the team’s strategy. If someone gets hurt, it is a problem.

There are only a certain number of moves we have with a limited number of players, Perreira said. “We always have to keep one person there in case someone gets hurt. We don’t want to forfeit a game.”

The challenge rests in players staying in their prime.

“What we have to work with is a wonderful core,” said Mark Stoner, assistant softball coach. “I believe the amount of players that we have right now has brought them even closer together.”

Stoner also reiterates that the current roster’s chemistry and dedication drives them to take every practice and game seriously knowing that they could be called on at any moment.

“With our numbers right now, it seems like everyone is getting playing time,” Stoner said.

Megan Mello (Photo courtesy of Alessandro Giampaolo)

Megan Mello (photo courtesy of Alessandro Giampaolo)

The Coyotes currently have only two dedicated pitchers on its roster, Megan Mello and Kristina Nelson. With two double-headers each weekend the players split the starting pitching duties.Both pitchers rely on their teammates to motivate them as the innings move along. Mello in particular can be heard calling for support as the at-bats start to pile up.

“I’ve never been on a team with this much love,” Mello said. “The vibes are incredible.”

Mello trusts her teammates and speaks highly of how close their relationships have developed on and off the field.

The coaching staff has also noticed the chemistry the players continue to expand upon as the season progresses.

After sweeping its four-game road series against Colorado Northwestern Community College the first weekend in April, Perreira and his highly-competitive team will make the necessary moves to win the conference.

The Coyotes have 16 games remaining in its regular season and will play its next home series against Snow College on April 10 and 11 at the Russell Road Recreation Complex.

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