Softball team pays tribute on Senior Day

From left to right, Alex Molina, Scotie Walker and Kayla Barber with their families behind them on Senior Day. Photo credit: Emerson Keenan

Every college sports career comes to an end at
some point. For seniors Alex Molina, Kayla Barber and Scotie Walker, that time
is nearing. On Saturday they competed in their last home game for Senior Day.

With their parents on the field, the three seniors were commemorated before the game to loud cheers and a big crowd.

Parents like Bob Barker, who coached his daughter, Kayla Barber, throughout childhood, could not be more proud.

“The passion and attitude that she has is incredible,” he said. “She comes out here every single day, gives 100 percent effort and she is always looking to pick her teammates up.”

Looking at their careers, the seniors found many positives while on the softball team at Chico.

“Hitting a grand slam earlier this season was really exciting,” Molina said. “And of course, the no-hitter I threw last year was a huge highlight.”

The biggest thing for Walker will take away from being a Chico State athlete, because she played both soccer and softball, is the meaning of hard work, Walker said.

“It’s literally always a fight,” she said. “Never give up and always have that passion to want to do things, and with these lessons you learn patience as well.”

Barber will take the lesson of “being the example” from being a softball player and bring it into the next chapter of her life, she said.

“If you are trying to lead and inspire or motivate people, you’ve got to be the ultimate example with your actions in order to be able to talk with your words,” Barber said. “I think that is huge and that will go way beyond the field.”

Losing three seniors can be a tough obstacle for a coach like Angel Shamblin.

“They bring a lot to the table, as far as team chemistry and our culture,” Shamblin said. “I think it is a little different for each of them; obviously Scotie being able to embrace her role and contribute to the team, with Kayla it’s all about her passion, her love and her inspiration that she has given to this team, and with Alex, it’s about her dedication in the circle and her willingness to always step up and be the one.”

Bob Barber sees the lessons he taught his daughter as a child being used on occasion, he said.

“I’ve spent my life trying to get her to think positively, inspire her and pick her up,” Bob Barber said. “Then I find myself when I’m down, she is turning around and doing it right back at me. Sometimes you take a step back and say, ‘Wow this is cool,’ and say she did listen to what I talked about all those years.”

Chance Keenan can be reached at [email protected] or @chancelikelance on Twitter.