The Chico State Softball team has been magical for three months and three weeks. If they can be magical for another week they have a chance to wrap up an amazing season with some hardware.
The 55-4 Wildcats left for Salem, Virginia Tuesday morning as they chase a Division II Softball National Championship. Chico rolled through their CCAA competition for much of the year, but faced stiff challenges in their sub-regional and Super Regional match-ups.
Two weeks ago Northwest Nazarene took a 2-0 lead into the 5th inning of the sub-regional opener before the Wildcats responded with a win. Then, the Cats battled to a scoreless tie versus Cal Baptist in the winners bracket game before winning 3-0. Then, to wrap up the sub-regional the Cats had to rally again for a 7-2 victory over Cal Baptist.
Last week’s Super Regional was a thriller as the Cats had to battle in a decisive third game. This time rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the 3rd inning of the title tilt. Chico would emerge with a 4-3 win on the guts of all-world hurler Haley Gilham and three home runs that propelled Chico to Salem.
The Wildcat women have been methodically dominant in the 2018 campaign using the long ball for a school record 61 home runs. Karli Skowrup and Baily Akins have each hit 14 home runs while Skowrup is 13th in the nation with 64 runs batted in.
Kristin Worley leads the Cats with a .385 batting average and a .474 on base percentage while Amanda Flores (.369) Skowrup (.368) and Ari Marsh (.356) are all hitting over .350
In this, the 50th year of Chico State Wildcat Softball the Wildcats are trying to do what only one other team was able to accomplish and that is win the softball national title. Back in 1980, the Wildcat program was not part of the NCAA, but they would capture the national championship. Chico won the West Regional on 2002 making their only other trip to the national tournament in the school’s history.
9th year head coach Angel Shamblin has built quite the program. The Wildcats have been consistent winners over the years but it has all come to fruition in the 2018 campaign. The combination of exemplary pitching, power bats and an unwavering toughness and grit has Chico on the brink of a national title.
Their quest begins on Thursday, games you can hear on the KpaySports app (download for free in app store) right here on KpaySports.com and on your Amazon Echo device with the skill of, “hey Alexa, play KpaySports dot-com.” Your Wildcat pregame comes your way at 3:25 from the KpaySports studios with first pitch slated for 3:30pm
For a more detailed account of the Wildcats amazing journey, click the link below to read the Chico State National Tournament preview written by Rory Miller
PHOTO COURTESY of ChicoWildcats.com