The Orion

Wildcat transfer turns heads at the plate

Junior Cyrena Taylor celebrates with a smile in a game against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

Junior Cyrena Taylor celebrates with a smile in a game against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

Gabriella Bermudez

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After an impressive run at the Tournament of Champions in Turlock, the Chico State softball team currently holds a conference play record of 17-9 and an impressive overall record of 26-10. Among the plethora of talent, a new face has gotten some attention as she rises up the leader board.

From Texas to Chico

Junior first base Cyrena Taylor joined Chico State this season after playing two years at Odessa College in Odessa, Texas. While at Odessa, Taylor held a batting average of .387 with five home runs and 54 RBIs in 2015. Now as a Wildcat, Taylor has a batting average of .358 and currently leads the softball team in doubles, triples and home runs.

“Here the girls have more of a raw talent than at Odessa. We were kind of a scrappy team,” Taylor said. “I really like this team.”

“I transferred with (Taylor) from Odessa and we both helped each other through the transition,” said fellow teammate junior outfielder Sarah Galaviz. “She keeps good chemistry with the infield and has really become a leader even though she is new.”

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Junior Cyrena Taylor waits patiently for the pitch in a game against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

 

Team Chemistry

As a first base, the communication to keep with the infield can either make or break a performance. Taylor spoke especially highly of the strong bond she keeps with her teammate, first-year second base Rachel DeHart.

“I look at Cyrena as a mentor; we communicate a lot on and off the field, and work together a lot just her and I,” DeHart said.

After spending so much time together on the field it’s not surprising when you see just how close the bond between teammates can become off the field.

“Off the field, the girls are so much fun. They are all so outgoing and there isn’t really any drama on the team,” Taylor said. “We all get along and we are always happy, for the most part at least.”

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Junior Cyrena Taylor looks into the dugout smiling in a game against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

Triple Threat

Being the leader in a multitude of areas is not only a product of sheer talent but of a powerful and hardworking will. It’s certainly an accomplishment to be a leader across the board, but the mark of any true victor is their humility.

“I don’t try to worry that much about stats. I’m not that kind of player,” Taylor said. “If I’m leading the team in certain categories that’s great, but its not what I’m aiming for.”

However, when you lead the team in doubles (10) triples (1) and home runs (3) it’s hard for those around you not to take notice.

“I think she has exceeded everyone’s expectations. I have so much confidence in her at first base,” DeHart said. “We also have an insane amount of confidence in her at the plate, and overall she has been playing exceptionally well.”

Taylor outside of softball

When she isn’t making a name for herself on the field though,Taylor always finds a way to stand out among her peers.

“She is really funny; she can impersonate people so well,” DeHart said. “If you didn’t know her you wouldn’t understand that, but just know she is hilarious.”

“She always speaks her mind,” Galaviz said. “People may think she is shy but once you get to know her she is very easy going and isn’t afraid to say something that doesn’t go along with the way everyone else thinks.”

With an arsenal of talent and a supportive team at her side, Taylor shows no signs of slowing down, and the only road for her is the one marked “victory.”

“I want to go all the way. I’m not going to limit myself or my team and say we will only make regionals,” Taylor said. “I believe we could win everything.”

Gabriella Bermudez can be reached at [email protected] or @gabbybermudez2 on Twitter.

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Wildcat transfer turns heads at the plate