This season the softball team hopes to go even further in the postseason than last year with the help of seniors first baseman Desiree’ Gonzalez and outfielder Alli Cook.
Gonzalez started playing softball when she was 4 years old and has had a passion for it ever since.
“I barely ever had free time back at home when I was younger, I was always playing softball,” she said.
Though she had offers at other schools, Gonzalez says she chose Chico because she fell in love with the campus, liked the coaching staff and wanted to play in a competitive league.
Cook started playing softball a bit later at age 10, and was also a dancer until her mom forced her to make a choice between the two. She had another offer from a school in Hawaii, but chose not to go because she said she felt like an outsider during her visit.
“I felt like I was the only blonde on the island,” she said with a laugh. “Chico was definitely the right place for me.”
They both hold school records, with Gonzalez being the all time home-run leader with 23 and Cook holding the record in steals and runs with 69 and 101 respectively. They broke these in their junior year and now have the chance to add on to it in their final season.
When asked how it felt to break the record, Gonzalez said that “it was relieving.”
“I was so tense at the time, once I hit it I felt like I could finally relax. I wouldn’t say I was nervous, I just wanted the pitcher to throw one to me that I could hit the crap out of,” she said.
What made it more special was that her parents were in the stands to see it.
Cook shared the same pride as Gonzalez when asked about her record.
“It’s obviously awesome to leave my mark somewhere,” she said, “and I broke it at home, so they made it special.”
However, adding on to their records is not a huge priority for either of them. Their main objective is to help the team win any way that they can.
When asked about their goals for the season, the teammates both want the team to keep trending upward.
“We want to keep the standard,” Cook said, “we tasted postseason but we only went to the first round. So I want to perform for my team and hopefully together we’ll be able to get the job done every game.”
Gonzalez said that she feels as if the team this year can be “just as good, if not better, than last year. I’m very excited for what’s to come.”
If last year was any indication, they have a lot to be excited about.
Patrick Pace can be reached at [email protected] or @PatPaceSports on Twitter.