It was a tough week for the Pershing County High School softball team.

On Saturday, the girls traveled to Silver Springs to play the Silver Stage Nighthawks. 

Pershing County lost both games, 11-1 and 13-8.

On Tuesday, Lovelock hosted Battle Mountain. Results were not available at press time.

“We have a lot of work to do this week with a lot of stuff to work on,” offered Coach Jordan McKinney. 

Undoubtedly, they’ll practice what many coaches call the ‘five tools,’ — throwing, catching, hitting for contact, hitting for power and running.

 They’ll need to be ready to play despite the weather. Wind and dust challenged the Mustangs at Saturday’s doubleheader. 

According to coach and author Dan Blewett, “When a softball player begins high school, the game speeds up dramatically. 

Players are all faster, beating out ground balls and turning more singles into doubles and scoring more often on singles from second base. Base stealers are better, and every position on the field requires more arm strength.”

Taylor Garland has been pitching since she was nine years old, but high school softball is a different animal.

“It requires different mechanics,” said Garland. “I was never taught any of the different pitching types or things like that, so going into this season, I had to learn some brand new things.” 

KayLee Poffenroth and Kaylah Hanley split catching duties, with Poffenroth catching the first game and Hanley the second.

“Kassandra Swindlehurst caught everything that was hit to her in left field,” said McKinney. “Our younger players were aggressive at the plate.”

That includes half the team. This season the Mustangs have nine freshmen – Garland, Miya Gallagher, Madyson Grenz, Hanley, Anna Happy, Yasmine McKinney, Poffenroth and Danya Zepeda.

Next, Lovelock hosts Yerington on Saturday, May 1, at 10 a.m. and noon.

“Fans are welcome, but they’ll need to wear masks and socially distance,” says AD Mike Brooks.