The Orion

Softball pitcher launches first career home run in win

Sophomore Haley Gilham zeroes in on her target in a game against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

Sophomore Haley Gilham zeroes in on her target in a game against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

Nick Martinez-Esquibel

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Sophomore pitcher Haley Gilham went 0-for-10 all of last season, but launched her first collegiate home run and pitched seven strong innings in a 4-1 win over the San Francisco State Gators to split a doubleheader on April 23 at home.

Gilham’s 1-for-3 performance at the plate brought her batting average to an even .300 in 40 at-bats this season, already taking four times as many at-bats as she did last spring. When a spot opened up for her in the lineup, she worked hard for the opportunity to hit more when she was on the mound.

Her battery mate, senior catcher Brynn Lesovsky, helped prepare her throughout the offseason.

“Brynn and I were out on the field constantly this past summer, and it continued through the fall,” Gilham said. “Whenever I did something wrong, Brynn was right there helping me, telling me what I needed to fix or adjust.”

Her hard work has paid off but as successful as she has been at the plate, she’s been completely lights out when throwing to the batters. With a 17-7 record on the year, she has a 1.78 earned run average in 145.1 innings pitched. She’s struck out almost 100 batters, and opponents are only hitting a mere .207 average against her.

Gilham’s newfound success with the bat has only propelled her team even further than last year.

Her home run was one of four RBIs the ‘Cats had against the Gators. With the game tied at 1-1, junior Cyrena Taylor singled through the right side to give Chico State a 2-1 lead.

First-year Megan Bowley would add some insurance later in the inning with a two RBI double.

Gilham would close the game out and improve the team’s record to 34-12 and 27-11 in conference.

The team heads to Stockton for the CCAA tournament on Friday, April 29 for a first round matchup against Sonoma State.

Nick Martinez-Esquibel can be reached at [email protected] or @THENickMartinez on Twitter.

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Softball pitcher launches first career home run in win