Charlene Masterson doesn’t do much to attract attention to herself.
The Boulder City senior prefers to let her bat and arm speak for themselves. And they do, loudly.
A pitcher/outfielder and a UNLV signee, Masterson is winding down one of the best careers in the history of the Eagles’ softball program and hopes to make it last for just a little longer. She’ll lead her team into the Southern Region playoffs, which begin at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when Boulder City (25-7) hosts Pahrump Valley (16-10).
The double-elimination tournaments in the Division I Sunrise and Sunset Region and the I-A Southern Region start Tuesday at host sites and conclude Saturday.
“I’m really excited for her, just to see what she does next year, but I would love a state championship for her and the other kids,” said Boulder City coach Angelica Moorhead. “She’s such a hard worker. She’s so positive. She’s a wonderful teammate. She’s never cocky, never. She hardly says boo. She’s just a good role model for the kids.”
Masterson is hitting .630 with five home runs and 47 RBIs. In the circle, she’s 14-6 with a 1.17 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 101 2/3 innings.
The numbers are impressive, but pale in comparison to the leadership she has provided the Eagles.
“I just think she’s had phenomenal, quiet leadership,” Moorhead said. “She just does her job, never complains, never rolls her eyes. She’s every coach’s dream of what you want in an athlete. The kids love her. No one is jealous of her because they know the amount of time she has put into her game. I think if Charlie said ‘Jump,’ they would say ‘How high?’ They just respect her that much.”
Masterson started playing softball at age 4 and started pitching when she was 9.
“The thing that has helped me the most was just working with my dad,” she said. “My dad helped me a lot, mostly with batting. I’ve never had a batting coach except for him.”
The closeness with her family was part of the reason Masterson chose UNLV.
“I like the coach and I like the girls,” she said. “It’s easier to stay home because family is so close if I get in trouble.”
Said UNLV coach Lisa Dodd: “We are so excited that Charlie chose to be a Rebel. As quiet as she seems, she is a fierce competitor and will be steady for us in the circle and at the plate. And above all we love the fact that she isn’t scared to carry the team on her back.”
Masterson heads into the playoffs with 19 homers, 189 RBIs and a .584 average in four seasons on the Eagles’ varsity. In 436 2/3 career innings, she has 581 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.30.
She’s been helped this season with the emergence of sophomore Bailey Bennett, who along with sophomore Jordan Moorhead, gives the Eagles more weapons in the pitcher’s circle and gives Masterson a chance to rest her arm and focus on other facets of her game.
“She’ll play anywhere,” Angelica Moorhead said. “She just wants to play the game because she loves the game. She loves the outfield. She just wants to play. And it’s good for her to not constantly be in the circle all the time. It’s important for our team to know that if she’s not in the circle, we’re going to be fine.”
The top two teams in the Southern Region tournament advance to the state tournament in Reno.
Not suprisingly, Masterson kept it simple when thinking about what a state title would mean to her and her teammates.
“It would be the best,” she said.
Contact reporter Bartt Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5230