As the Western Nevada College softball team began preparing for the 2015 season, it faced a challenge. With the largest roster in program history this season, the Wildcats needed training space for 22 student athletes, particularly when their home field at the Edmonds Sports Complex is unavailable, or when weather prevents them from using it.
Locating a larger practice facility to conduct its indoor workouts couldn’t have come at a better time. Through an accommodating local indoor sports facility, Talents Athletic Center, the Wildcats are now able to work out when the weather prevents outdoor practice.
“We are able to do pretty much everything, even a little outfield work since the ceilings are pretty high,” said WNC coach Leah Wentworth. “It’s surpassed our expectations of what we can do. Most of the kids feel like we own the space when we are in there.”
Previously, the Wildcats were working out at a smaller facility when they couldn’t practice at their home field.
“It really made for a long day; it was tough to get the entire team in there at the same time,” Wentworth said. “Now, with as many girls as we’re carrying, it provides us with all of the things we need to be more efficient.”
The current venue allows the Wildcats to pitch, field and hit. The facility includes an indoor soccer field, so the Wildcats can practice fielding groundballs and throwing. It also has batting cages, allowing players to work on their hitting.
“It’s so much more efficient working indoors on our hitting instead of in a batting cage outside and shagging balls,” Wentworth said.
The Wildcats are also conducting their morning strength training workouts at the facility.
“We can put a lot of stations together and give them a ton of work,” Wentworth said.
The players are comfortable with the workouts at TAC.
“It’s very nice. We can still hit, run and get our defense in,” said freshman Makaylee Jaussi. “We can do it all, honestly.”
Katilyn Covione, who played last season, is relieved to have more room to practice this season.
“We have so much more room,” Covione said. “Even with the 12 players we had last year, it was still cramped. We can do so much more that we couldn’t have done at the old facility. We can all go there together instead of having to go in little groups. I think it’s a good place for us.”
The team routinely conducts strength and conditioning workouts at TAC before classes on weekdays, and then, depending on the weather, regular softball workouts from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays.
“The girls have the ability to hit between strength training and workouts,” Wentworth said.
In return, the Wildcats assist TAC with after-school programs, as well as cleaning the facility.
“It has given them a whole other level of pride,” Wentworth said.