If it’s spring break for most Southern Nevada schools, it must be time for the Centennial Spring Jamboree softball tournament at Majestic Park in Las Vegas.
Each year, a very competitive group of teams makes it one of the Southwest’s top softball events. The level of competition becomes clear with a quick look at how some pretty good Pahrump Valley teams have fared.
The Trojans have played in the event three times in the past five years. In those seasons, they combined to go 65-43 overall and 22-8 in their league but only 4-11 at Majestic Park.
Last season, Pahrump Valley went 26-11 and rolled to a 10-0 mark in the Class 3A Sunset League, yet lost four consecutive games in the Jamboree by scores of 8-1, 5-2, 9-8 and 9-0 before beating Chaminade of California 11-5 in their last game. Do the math, and the Trojans posted a stellar 25-7 record aside from the Spring Jamboree.
“In a couple of those games, with a break or two, we could have won,” Pahrump Valley coach Eli Armendariz said. “We don’t make an error here, we get a key hit there … we were in a couple of them.”
In 2014, a Trojans squad that would finish 24-15 met the same fate, losing by scores of 7-3, 1-0, 7-5 and 17-6 before a 6-1 win over California’s Harbor Teacher Prep in their Spring Jamboree finale.
The previous year went slightly better, as losses of 10-4, 19-1 and 3-0 were followed by a 12-0 win over Valley and a 15-5 rout of Cheyenne.
After an 11-8 win over Durango last Friday, Trojans pitcher Amaya Mendoza said she believed the victory would give her team some confidence going into the Jamboree. Her coach agrees.
“I think we’ll do pretty well,” Armendariz said. “I think we’ll be more competitive. We should be if we keep playing the way we did against Durango.
“Overall, as a team I think we’re feeling pretty good. I think we matured a lot in that last game. Kids came through and made plays they might not have made a week ago. Hopefully, that raised their confidence level.”
The event includes 44 teams, including 27 from California and nine from Nevada. Other states represented are Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, South Carolina and Florida.
“Everybody’s on break except us,” said Armendariz, whose players will be on spring break next week.
Armendariz has concerns about his infield defense, which he said is not quite what it was last season, but the outfield defense has been much better than he expected. And he does have confidence in Mendoza.
“When she first came up as a freshman she was tall, skinny, very quiet,” he said. “Now, as a senior, she’s a little bit stronger and still quiet, but you know what she’s saying by looking at her face.”
The Spring Jamboree will include 116 games, with the championship slated for 3 p.m. Saturday.
Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter:@pvtimes