Wildcat of the Week: The 2018 record-breaking Wildcat softball seniors


11 time CCAA pitcher of the week Haley Gilham leads the league in wins, shutouts and complete games. Photo credit: Kate Angeles

The Chico State softball team has a lot to be proud of in their record breaking 39-3 season that included a perfect 20-0 home record at University Softball Field. From one of the Wildcats’ greatest all-time pitcher, to a league-leading hitter, this years senior class has shown their dedication and passion to the game. Here’s a look at what these seniors had to say about their time at Chico State.

Haley Gilham

Q: You just signed on to play softball in the Netherlands after graduation. What’re you most excited about?


“The most exciting thing is being able to explore the different countries that I’ll be able to visit and also being able to extend my career past my four years of college.”

Q: What you will miss most about Chico?


“I will miss the people most. There’s definitely a really chill vibe that Chico has. It’s a campus that is diverse and has many different people among it and it’s like a once in a lifetime opportunity to be here.”

Q: What has been the biggest key to your success here at Chico State?


“The biggest key to my success is definitely the consistency and hard work. Also definitely the time I put in on the off-season to help further my accomplishments for this season.”

Karli Skowrup

Karli Skowrup currently leads the CCAA in RBIs (47) and is second on the team in home runs this season (10). Photo credit: Kate Angeles

Q: As of right now you lead the team and the CCAA in RBIs and are third in home runs. Where do you attribute your success?

“My success this season I really owe it to all my consistency with my hitting. I come to the field early, I hit in the net, do a few buckets every day and I do a lot of repetition. I’m just very relaxed and all I think about when I’m hitting is ‘See ball, hit ball.'”

Q: What is your greatest accomplishment in your softball career?


“My greatest accomplishment in my career is making it college softball and being a collegiate athlete would be my first one and (then) finishing my collegiate athlete career.”

Cyrena Taylor

Cyrena Taylor, who Coach Angel Shamblin calls the best defensive first baseman she’s ever coached, says her favorite thing to do in the field is chase down foul balls. Photo credit: Kate Angeles

Q: What’s one of your favorite memories from this season that you will miss?


“One of the memories I will really miss is whenever someone gets a really good hit we do this thing where we pick up the phone and say “whasssss uuuup”. That’s one of my favorite things because it helps us with our energy and we get really focused and its intimidating to the other team.”

Q: What is the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your softball career?


“One of the biggest obstacles I’ve had to overcome was having surgery. I tore my ACL my freshman year of college and coming back from that was really difficult. I had to go through a lot of physical therapy and I had the surgery in September and was playing in February which was really hard on my body. It carried on throughout my college career and I still kind of have knee problems which is a big obstacle. Also red shirting was really hard for me (was hard) because I didn’t get to see a lot of pitches so coming into the season this year. It was really hard to get my timing back and getting used to the swing of things was pretty difficult.”

Q: Coach Shamblin said you were the best defensive first baseman she has ever coached. How does that make you feel?


“It makes me feel happy. I don’t think much of it, but it’s cool to be that person. But I’m just happy to be on the team and be able to be a part of it.”

Mia Quintero

Mia Quintero has provided the Wildcats with a solid bat off the bench all year and supplied depth at first and third during her career at Chico State. Photo credit: Kate Angeles

Q: What are you going to miss about Chico?


“What I will miss most is definitely the four seasons I get to experience because I’m from LA and don’t get to experience that at all. I also really like the food and the culture up here.”

Q: How long have you been playing softball and what is it that first made you fall in love with the game?


“I played baseball for a long time and made the transition into softball when I was about ten. What made me love it was that my parents both had a past with it. My mom played softball and my dad played baseball and they loved it.”

Q: Can you talk about your senior season and the now 39-3 team?


“Compared to last year we have a great team overall. Everyone that came in knows what they are supposed to do, us seniors know what we need to do and everyone knows their role. We all work hard at achieving our goal which is ultimately the National Championship.”

Katalina Santamaria can be reached at [email protected] or @katalinaleanet on Twitter.