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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Wildcats softball team ends regular season play atop the offensive leaderboard

Amanda Flores celebrating with teammates moments after hitting the game tying grand slam against San Francisco State. Photo Courtesy of Jana Weiss

The Chico State softball team is proving to fans that this year’s team has the skills and capabilities of bringing home a National Championship coming from their impressive offense where they sit at 47-3 going into the California Collegiate Athletics Association Championship Tournament.

The Wildcats lead the league in 11 of the 24 offensive categories including highest batting average, most hits, most home runs and most RBIs.

After breaking the single-season wins’ record just last week, the team continues to put up record breaking numbers with hopes that their record breaking season can lead them to a national championship.

The Wildcats sit at the number one spot in highest team batting average in the league at .326. Kristin Worley is second in the league in batting average at .416. Worley describes how she has been working on various tactics which have helped lead to her success at the plate.

“When it comes to hitting, I always try to be consistent at the plate. I’ve really worked on staying in my legs and keeping my hands inside to barrel up to the ball and hit the sweet part of the bat,” Worley said.

Hitting has many aspects, including how batters approach the plate.

“Another factor that takes place in my success to hitting is my approach at the plate. I know that I am capable of putting a lot of pressure against the defense because not only can I play small ball, but I can hit the ball pretty well too. What’s cool about this is that most of the time the defense is never aware of what I’m going to do,” Worley said.

Hitting has been nothing short of a success for the Wildcats this season. Over their 50 games the team raked up 428 hits, and of those, Ari Marsh has had 59 this season.

Like many of her teammates, Marsh knows that putting in work off of the field is crucial to have a successful season and credits just that to her success this year.

“Off the field I am a firm believer of the idea that if you work hard and put in the extra reps then the game will pay you back. I try to hit the field outside of practice to hit at least 2 times a week,” Marsh said.

This team has shown they are one of the strongest offensive teams in Chico State history finishing regular season play with 52 home runs, which not only is a school record but also leads the league by far with Cal State San Bernardino in second with 35.

Amanda Flores hit the team’s last home run of regular season play where she hit a game tying grand slam.

“San Francisco State had loaded the bases the inning before and I knew they were nervous after the previous inning to pitch to me. I waited for my best pitch and just did my best to score my teammates,” Flores said.

Along with Marsh, Flores credits her training in the off season to her growing success as a hitter.

“During the off season I trained hard with my trainer on the track and refused to not be successful in the spring. I also worked with my old travel ball coach and former teammate to prepare my swing and stay short through the ball,” Flores said.

After a dominant offensive season, the team looks to continue to show off their bats in the CCAA Championship Tournament this weekend at 5 p.m. Friday at the University of Pacific campus in Stockton.

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

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