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Desiree’ Gonzalez: Home run queen

Senior Desiree Gonzales waits patiently for a pitch during a game against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

Senior Desiree Gonzales waits patiently for a pitch during a game against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

Gabriella Bermudez

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The Chico State softball team has had an impressive run this season. Among the five seniors who will be leaving the team after this season, we will bid farewell to Chico State’s all-time home run leader senior first base Desiree’ Gonzalez.

Desiree’s Beginning

It all began in Pasadena in front of the TV.

“I remember when I was younger, I would watch UCLA play and I knew that’s where I wanted to be. I wanted to be a part of the U.S. National Team,” Gonzalez said.

From the age of 4, Gonzalez has had a natural love for the game and the privilege to grow up and learn with one of her fellow teammates junior first base Cyrena Taylor.

“We grew up in the same area. We began playing together around 6 or 7, played travel ball together at 8 and even played against each other in high school,” Taylor said.

The Strength of a Team

From the beginning of her career as a Wildcat, Gonzalez has caught attention as she blazed a trail to the top. As a first-year she set a new Chico State single-season record for home runs for someone in their first season. As a junior in 2015, Gonzalez led the Wildcats in home runs (7), extra-base hits (22) and slugging percentage (.607), earning All-CCAA Honorable Mention.

“As a freshman I didn’t say a single word on the field. Now as a senior I feel I have become a sort of leader for the team,” Gonzalez said.

“She’s very mom-like,” Taylor said. “She has taken a lot of the girls under her wing.”

Over the time that Gonzalez has played for Chico State she has come across different groups of girls. This group she says however, is especially unique.

“This group is very special. They have the heart and desire to do something big for Chico State softball. They make my day, they are so hilarious and I couldn’t be happier to be on a team with them,” Gonzalez said.

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Senior Desiree’ Gonzalez prepares to run from second base in a game against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

 

Batter Up

Currently Gonzalez maintains a batting average of .366 and leads the team in slugging percentage (.549), on-base percentage (.489), RBIs (42) and home runs (4).

“Her bat is for sure her strongest aspect. She has a lot of power and strength behind her swing,” Taylor said.

“It really comes from being patient at the plate,” Gonzalez said. “Coach Shamblin helps me to get out of my own head. I just need to remember things may not always go in my favor, but I will be successful no matter what.”

Bidding Farewell

With the team falling short in both the CCAA championship and NCAA championships, Gonzalez has donned her cardinal and white jersey for the last time.

“I would like to thank her for being such good competition at first base. She pushes me to work harder,” Taylor said.

“These girls are truly amazing,” Gonzalez said. “They are all going to go so far, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.”

Gabriella Bermudez can be reached at [email protected] or @gabbybermudez2 on Twitter.

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Desiree’ Gonzalez: Home run queen