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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Wildcats dash to success, stolen bases

Sophomore outfielder Alli Cook. Photo courtesy of Chico State.

Standouts Alli Cook and Cody Slader are speed demons on the basepaths. The pair showcase their talents for Chico State’s softball and baseball teams, respectively.

Cook, who is currently ranked fourth in the California Collegiate Athletic Association with 15 stolen bases, observes the other team’s pitcher.

“I watch pitchers release point in between innings and I’ll take leads off the pitcher to get my timing down,” Cook said.

Not only does Cook have to scope out the pitcher, but she also has to check in on the catcher while running.

“I look for her demeanor and I want her to feel rushed,” Cook said.

Slader doesn’t worry about the catcher.

“I look at the front foot of the pitcher before I take off,” he said.

Slader, who currently sits third in the CCAA in stolen bases, with nine, gets the greenlight in certain situations.

“If I’m on first with two outs, I try to get into scoring position,” he said.

Both Cook and Slader have athletes they aspire to be when it comes to base stealing.

For Cook, it’s Natasha Watley, who played at UCLA from 2000-2004. Watley compiled 158 stolen bases as a Bruin and still holds the record at UCLA.

Keeping it California, Slader, a huge A’s fan, watches a video of Rickey Henderson. Henderson is the MLB “steal king” and holds the record,with 1,406.

“I watch videos of Henderson to get down his form,” Slader said. “If I get a good jump, I should make it every time.”

Cook and Slader said they admit that they have some things to improve on. For Cook, it’s her timing.

“I’ve been called out five times for leaving early,” Cook said. “That is the reason why I take leads between innings off to the side.”

For Slader, it’s about getting better jumps.

“It’s always a close play and I just need more reps at practice with live pitching,” Slader said. “My speed is there, I just need to get a better jump.”

Cook aspires to have her name in the Chico State records books.

“My goal is to set the record for stolen bases, and if that leads me to leading the conference in stolen bases then that is just a plus.” Cook said.

Opposing catchers need to watch out, because Cook isn’t messing around.

“I want her to know that that is my base and not hers.”

Angelo Boscacci can be reached at [email protected] or @Boscacci6 on Twitter.

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