Wildcats’ confidence grows

At 4-1 in the Northeast League, Las Vegas High’s softball team fully expects to reach the Class 4A Sunrise Region playoffs.

But the Wildcats were only 3-6 outside of league entering Monday’s nonleague game at Arbor View, and coach Danielle Rumph saw an opportunity to build her team’s confidence.

Las Vegas responded by scoring four runs in the fifth inning on the way to a 7-3 win over Arbor View, which would be the Northwest’s final entry to the Sunset playoffs if the postseason began today.

“It’s a good confidence-builder for the girls, to go out and play with a team from a tough division,” Rumph said. “We can compete with anybody. And coming into the playoffs, that’s what we want to know.”

Las Vegas (8-7) has won seven of its past eight games, a stretch that second baseman Brianna Guzman chalked up to team chemistry.

“We’re all more intense with the game,” said Guzman, who was 1-for-4 and scored two runs. “Our communication is way better than it was before. We’re working as a team, not just as individuals.”

Nikki Diaz and Chelsea Lewis both were 2-for-4 for the Wildcats.

Tiffani Taylor highlighted Las Vegas’ four-run fifth inning with a two-run triple that plated Guzman and Monique Hernandez for a 6-1 lead.

Hernandez pitched her way to a complete-game win. The junior gave up eight hits, walked two and struck out seven.

Danielle Nolan was 3-for-3 with an RBI and a triple to lead the Aggies (11-10), who have lost three of their past four. Nichole Diaz went 2-for-3 with two stolen bases, and Amanda Jones was 2-for-3 with a triple.

Arbor View coach Hilary Eisen said her team was rusty after taking five days off for spring break.

At 3-2 in the Northwest, the Aggies are “still in a great spot” to reach the postseason for the first time, Eisen said.

“If we don’t make the playoffs, this season’s not a success,” she said. “This is the most talent that this school’s ever had. And I’m 99.9 percent confident we will make it there.”

Contact reporter Tristan Aird at taird@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203.

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