The Reed softball team can hit the ball, there’s no doubt about that, as it put up 37 runs in three games Friday.
But the Raiders bigger weapon is soft-spoken sophomore pitcher Julia Jensen.
Jensen pitched in all three Reed games Friday at the Reed Easter Softball Tournament. Reed all won three as she rang up 25 strikeouts, allowed five hits and walked one.
That’s in all three games.
Reed beat Crater (Oregon), 18-2, Damonte Ranch, 14-5 and Douglas 5-1.
Jensen entered the game against Damonte in the third inning with the Mustangs holding a 5-4 lead.
“I just wanted to help out the best I could. Try to shut down the hitting of their team,” Jensen said. “Just take it one pitch at a time. Not thinking about any runners on base, or what the batter might do.”
Julia, 16, started playing softball at age 7 and was on traveling softball teams at age 9.
“We’re confident, when she’s in the game, that she’s not going to give up a lot of runs and that we should be able to generate some runs,” Reed coach Jon Wunder said. “She’s kind of a quiet leader. Our girls know, when she’s on the mound, we’re in a good position.”
Wunder said getting his bench some playing time was important on Friday.
“That’s kind of the focus in a tournament. You always want to win, but we’re deep, one through 16. These kids came off the bench and they contributed with some base hits, some good defense. Good base running,” Wunder said.
Spanish Springs also went 3-0 Friday, beating Shasta, 6-0, Wooster, 9-2 and Newark Memorial, a private school in the Bay Area, 11-0.
Reno went 2-0-1 Friday, tieing James Logan, 4-4, and beating North Valleys, 3-0 and Carson 11-0.
The top four seeds after Friday’s games play in the semifinals at 11 a.m. Saturday at Shadow Mountain. The championship game is set for 1 p.m.
“It’s a brand new day, a brand new season,” Wunder said. “We’re going to play the No. 1 seed. … We’re anxious, there’s no doubt. We’d like to win our own tournament for a change. It’s been a long time.”
Jensen has already verbally committed to play for Nevada, saying she wants to stay close to home, and has a fondness for Wolf Pack sports.
When Michelle Gardner coached the Nevada softball team (2003-08), Jensen attended her off-season camps. Gardner is now in her seventh season at Indiana.
Mark Jensen, Julia’s father, said Indiana has reached out to Julia, perhaps hoping to change her mind.
Reed, 17-0, is ranked No. 17 in the nation, according to Maxpreps.com.
That’s based on the Raiders win-loss record, and also on runs scored (139) and runs allowed (9).
“We remind them of last year. It’s not where you start, it’s not where you’re at in the middle of the season. That last game of the season, whatever it is, it’s always your most important,” Wunder said.