RENO, Nev. – A beautiful day at Hixson Park with ceremonies dedicated to two-time cancer survivor Jayme King ended with a tough loss for the Nevada softball team, as the Wolf Pack fell to Boise State 8-4 on Sunday.
The day began with pre-game ceremonies honoring King, a former Pack player who has twice beaten Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. All proceeds from the game were donated to the King family for medical expenses, including sales of the team’s special teal jerseys that were worn in her honor.
Nevada coach Matt Meuchel presented King with her jersey prior to the game and she fired the ceremonial first pitch after addressing the crowd, which included a thank you to the visiting Broncos who also donated to the fund.
A school-record crowd of 665 were on hand, which included well more than 100 from King’s hometown of Fernley.
Nevada was never able to a six-run first inning that Boise State put up to open the game.
Nevada got one run back in the third inning on Nikki Orozco’s sacrifice fly. But the Broncos got the run back in the top of the fourth to push the lead out to 7-1.
Nevada made it 7-2 in the fifth as Sara Parson singled, Erin Jones doubled and Orozco drove in one with an infield single. But Nevada left two on in the inning and nine on base in the game as the Pack couldn’t seem to get a breakthrough hit.
Down 8-2 in the seventh, Caylin Campbell doubled in two runs but Nevada would get no closer.
Megan Dortch started for the Pack but didn’t make it out of the first inning and took the loss to fall to 9-8. McKenna Isenberg gave up just two runs in 6.2 innings of relief for the Pack.
With the loss, Nevada fell to 21-19 overall and 3-9 in the Mountain West Conference. Boise State improved to 21-18 and 6-6. Nevada will head out on the road with a MW series at Colorado State beginning on Thursday.
A Fernley native and graduate of Fernley High School, King played two sports at Shasta Junior College before transferring to Nevada to play softball during the 2011 season. After her first season with the Pack, King was diagnosed with cancer in her knee.
She underwent chemotherapy and then surgery, followed by another round of chemotherapy and, in 2012, doctors told her that her cancer was in remission. But the cancer returned in 2013 in her hip and King endured another round of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Near the end of last year, King had beaten cancer for a second time and she is back in classes at Nevada this semester and will graduate in December.