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The Orion

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

First-year softball player makes big impact

First-year Ari March prepares to hit the ball during the game against Monterey Bay on Feb. 20. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

First-year student Ari Marsh is a force to be reckoned with on the Chico State softball field. This outfielder is making an impact early in her Wildcat athletic career.

Marsh has played in every softball game this season with a batting average of .353 and an on-base percentage of .371. With five runs, 12 hits and six RBIs, this player is starting her first Chico State softball season strong.

“The amount of work I put into college athletics is way different than high school. In high school I would just show up for practice and participate,” Marsh said. “Here, just showing up for practice isn’t enough. I have to work hard off the field too.”

First-year Ari March swings at the ball during the game against Monterey Bay on Feb. 20. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Marsh says she enjoys the team chemistry and how far they have come from just the first game at the beginning of February.

“We are really big on selflessness and working together as a team. It’s not just about our individual stats. At the end of the day, it’s about the win,” she said.

Marsh says she seeks inspiration from an athletic idol of hers from the Major League Baseball team, the Detroit Tigers.

“I’m from Michigan so Miguel Cabrera is my favorite athlete. He works hard, is a really good hitter and is an all-around great player, ” Marsh said.

An early memory Marsh says she holds close to her heart is her first day of T-ball as a 6-year-old. She associates this day with the beginning of a long journey playing the sport she loves most.

“I remember opening day. We were all in our uniforms and my hair was really short. I was wearing really long baggy pants. I just remember the picture vividly,” she said.

First-year Ari Marsh poses with her dad at a young age. Photo credit: Ari Marsh

One of Marsh’s beloved memories playing for Poway High School in San Diego took place against its rival, Rancho Bernardo High School.

“I think my favorite part of playing in high school was playing against our rival team at this big local lake. The whole community came out to watch,” Marsh said. “It was really cool because it was something I always went to when I was younger to watch the older girls play. That game was really exciting to play in.”

This very experience has resonated with Marsh because she says it reminds her of the way she used to idolize the older softball players as a young girl.

Marsh says she prefers playing for a school or a community rather than a club because it is more focused on team energy. This Wildcat undoubtedly embodies this mentality as she works hard to represent Chico State each weekend.

First-year Ari March makes contact with the ball during the game against Monterey Bay on Feb. 20. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Marsh says she is particularly excited to play a game in her hometown.

“I’m looking forward to going home and play UC San Diego for the first time because I’m from San Diego,” Marsh said. “I’m excited to see old friends and old coaches.”

Marsh says she enjoys the diversity of her teammates and appreciates how each individual has a variety of experiences to provide.

“Everyone’s story is different. Our chemistry has built from that,” she said.

Anna Baytosh can be reached at [email protected] or @anna_baytosh on Twitter.

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Anna Baytosh, Staff Writer

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    Linda // Mar 2, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    You go girl! So proud!!