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 walk-off for the win this season

Eric Angerer leads the way to home plate after Ryan McClellan's walk-off hit to tie the game. Photo credit: Grant Mahan

It’s the bottom of the final inning and the team is down by a run with a runner on third. Step into the batter’s box and the
pressure is on.

Walk-offs have been the norm throughout the season for the Wildcats and some players have felt what it’s like to put the team on their back. It may not be the most ideal situation for the team to be in, but it creates excitement and confidence for the players to take into their next game.

Softball catcher Brynn Lesovsky knows this feeling firsthand after her first walk-off hit April 18 against Sonoma State.

“I woke up feeling good that morning and decided that day that nothing could get in my way,” she said. “When I hit that base hit to win the game, it was overwhelmingly exciting and the team went crazy.”

Lesovsky had all eyes on her when the game was tied in the last inning and came down to two strikes. She pulled through with a single that sent a runner from third to home, resulting in a win.

Baseball catcher Peter Miller crushed two walk-off hits during back-to-back nights against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Miller hit a single to center field in the 13th inning against the Toros. The next day, he pinch-hit for shortstop Cody Slader to knock a single to left to seal the victory.

“I don’t want to say that all the success was because of me because everything I do is for the team,” Miller said. “But it felt so good to get those wins and have it be because of something that I did. It was great for the team and created a lot of momentum for us and gave me a lot more confidence for the next games.”

Getting the walk-off hit not only creates confidence for the player, it also does the same for the entire team and produces momentum for upcoming games.

After junior infielder Kelli Keefe hit her first walk-off against Cal State Dominguez Hills earlier this season, she knew there would be success ahead for the team. After the walk-off , the team went on a five-game win streak.

“It was great for the team overall because all that excitement carries over into the next game,” Keefe said. “It’s an exciting feeling and it’s great to share that sort of excitement with everyone on the team.”

Lee Masten can be reached at [email protected] or @lee23masten on Twitter.

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