Can the ’Cats claw their way back

After splitting their doubleheader in a previous game, the Chico State softball team lost two close games including the series to the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters.

The Otters, ranked seventh in the nation and the top seed in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, defeated the Wildcats 9-8 in their first game of the day and went on to win the final game of the series.

The ’Cats, desperately needing a win to keep their spot in the CCAA Championship tournament, started the game slowly by allowing the Otters to score three runs in the bottom of the first inning, and another in the third to put them down 4-0.

Third baseman Claire Wayne hit a two-run home run to left field in the fourth, but the deficit proved to be too much for the ‘Cats to recover from. Chico State eventually lost 4-2.

Freshman pitcher Samantha Mulock also gave a valiant effort by allowing one run and striking out four batters in five innings on the mound.

This series was crucial for the any playoff hopes for the ’Cats. While they are currently in fifth place in the CCAA, only the top four teams are invited to the CCAA Championship tournament. With only four games left in the regular season, Chico State needs to not only win its match-up but hope for change in the standings in order to squeak into the post season.

Patrick Pace can be reached at [email protected] or @patpacesports on Twitter.