The Orion

Wildcats takes home title in Desert Stinger Classic

Kristin+Worley+in+an+at+bat+against+Eastern+New+Mexico+at+the+Desert+Stinger+Classic+in+Las+Vegas.+Photo+Courtesy%3A+Janna+Weiss+Photography
Kristin Worley in an at bat against Eastern New Mexico at the Desert Stinger Classic in Las Vegas. Photo Courtesy: Janna Weiss Photography

Kristin Worley in an at bat against Eastern New Mexico at the Desert Stinger Classic in Las Vegas. Photo Courtesy: Janna Weiss Photography

Kristin Worley in an at bat against Eastern New Mexico at the Desert Stinger Classic in Las Vegas. Photo Courtesy: Janna Weiss Photography

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The Chico State softball team came out swinging in the debut of its 2018 season with a win at the Desert Stinger Tournament in Las Vegas.

The Wildcats went 5-0 in the tournament for the second year in a row, however this year they claimed the title with the highest overall tournament score.

In the first game of the season, the ‘Cats won 8-0 over Eastern New Mexico with home runs by Wendy Cardinali and Karli Showrup. Cardinali, the transfer from Fresno State, came to bat in the first inning in her first at bat as a Wildcat and hit a two run home to give the Wildcats an early 2-0 lead.

Cardinali stayed hot throughout the tournament finishing with two home runs and seven RBIs over the five game stretch.

Throughout the tournament the ’Cats were unstoppable shutting out their opponents in 3 out of the 5 games. In game one, Sam Mulock and Naomi Monahan combined to allow no runs and four hits over five innings, their first of two combined shutouts of the tournament.

Game two, senior Haley Gilham threw a complete game, one hit shutout to give the Wildcats the win.

Sophomore centerfielder Kristin Worley was the Wildcats speedster on the bases. Over the five games, she was 7 for 14 at bat, and 5 for 5 on stolen bases.

Shortstop Wendy Cardinali had some excitement to share following the big weekend coming out on top.

“We were all super pumped. We truly deserved it by how hard we work at practice and how much effort we put on the field,” Cardinali said.

Cardinali was named the Desert Stinger Classic Most Valuable Player after finishing the tournament batting .500 over the five games.

“When I step in the box I am 100 percent locked in and its competing time against the pitcher,” Cardinali said.

She continued to express the teams goal after such an astounding weekend in Las Vegas and being crowned champions of the tournament.

“We all focus on one goal, and that is to win a National Championship one game at a time,” Cardinali said.

The ‘Cats continue season play Friday and Saturday at Cal State San Bernardino before returning home Feb. 16 for a doubleheader beginning at noon.

Katalina Santamaria can be reached at sportseditor@theorion.com or @katalinaleanet on Twitter.

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Wildcats takes home title in Desert Stinger Classic