Callie Nunes has played softball year-round for the majority of her life.
The 2017 Ceres High grad took a break from the sport this summer to recover from a partially torn oblique muscle in her right side.
“I had to take a month off,” said Nunes, a sophomore pitcher at Concordia University in Irvine. “I started throwing again in July. I was pretty confident it (the injury) wouldn’t be a long-term issue.”
Nunes improved her overall record to a near-perfect 8-1 and helped the Eagles extend their winning streak to 11 games this past weekend with a pair of road victories against Azusa Pacific.
Concordia (11-1, 4-0 PacWest) prevailed by scores of 5-0 and 13-0 on Saturday.
Nunes tallied 17 strikeouts.
“I’ve settled in and got back to being myself,” said Nunes, who allowed four runs and four hits with four strikeouts and four walks during the Eagles’ season-opening 4-2 loss to Northwest Nazarene on Feb. 1. “It was difficult in the beginning. I started out really shaky.”
Nunes has won eight of nine starts in the circle this season with a 0.86 ERA, 64 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 49 innings.
She totaled 23 strikeouts while tossing no-hitters against Concordia Portland and Adelphi.
Nunes was named PacWest Conference Pitcher of the Week for the second straight week on Monday.
She notched her second straight no-hitter and fanned a season-best 12 batters in Concordia’s 4-0 win over Adelphi on Feb. 19.
She earned six victories, tossed three complete games, struck out 43 batters and posted a 0.30 ERA over 30 innings of work in a five-day span.
“I have a level of expectation for myself,” she said. “It’s not based on what other people are saying.”Callie Nunes
“I’m not impressed by my individual performance,” she said. “I’ve gotten some good outcomes. I attribute that to my offense, defense, coaches, uncle Phil (de la Porte) and (pitching coach) Jimmy (Dyson).”
On Feb. 7, Nunes was one of 50 student-athletes from across the country selected to the “Watch List” for the 2019 Schutt Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II National Player of the Year award.
“I have a level of expectation for myself,” she said. “It’s not based on what other people are saying.”
Nunes made a name for herself during her freshman season at Concordia.
She was named the NFCA National Freshman of the Year.
She was also selected to the NFCA All-America First Team.
Nunes claimed the PacWest Conference’s Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards.
Nunes posted a 25-4 record with a 0.74 ERA, 291 strikeouts, 18 complete games, two no-hitters and a school-record eight saves. She finished first in the country in ERA and strikeouts during the regular season.
“It’s awesome I got all the awards but that was last year,” she said. “I need to keep growing. I really don’t feel much pressure trying to match last year’s performance. I know what I’m capable of.”