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Chico women’s softball faces highs and lows in Vegas tournament

Senior Bailey Akins slides into home. Photo credit: Janna Weiss

Senior Bailey Akins slides into home. Photo credit: Janna Weiss

Noah Andrews

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The Chico State Wildcats Women’s Softball team opened up their season this weekend at the Desert Stinger Tournament in Las Vegas.

The tournament, which was celebrating its 10th anniversary, has been historically good to the Wildcats since they first entered the 24 team field in 2017. Going undefeated in last years tournament, the Wildcats looked to continue their display of dominance in the desert.

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Wendy Cordial concentrating while at-bat where she finished Friday's victory with 3 RBIs including a home run against Cal State San Bernardino on May 5, 2018. Photo credit: Caitlyn Young

Of the five scheduled games this weekend, Chico would only end up playing in three. Although the tournament staff had scheduled two of the games to be played Saturday, Mother Nature had other plans. With constant rain storms throughout the day, the fields were deemed unfit for competition and the games against Northwest Nazarene and Concordia Irvine had to be canceled.

Despite the weather inconveniencing play on Saturday, the Wildcats came out ready to prove why they’re considered the front-runners for the CCAA championship this year.

The first of their three games played was Friday afternoon against the Azusa Pacific Cougars. A team that is far more talented and competitive than their lackluster 22-28 record from last year would lead one to believe. For although many experts predicted a swift and decisive win from the Wildcats, the Cougars were able to hang around and make the game a nail biter till the very end. Chico walked away with a 3-2 win, thanks to standout performances from Angel Lopez and Brooke Larson.

Chico State’s second game of the day saw them face the Vikings of Western Washington, a team that has struggled in recent years. The Wildcats were set to use this game to demonstrate why they are the favorites to win their conference, they did exactly that. Winning the game by mercy rule in the fifth inning with a score of 12-2. Refusing to play down to their opponents level the Wildcats feasted on a bevy of errors committed by their opponents in the fourth inning, thus opening a six-run lead. They followed it up with a strong fifth that completed the 12 run bludgeoning and forced the umpire to call the game early

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Pitcher Amanda Flores had seven hits, six RBIs and her first home run as a Wildcat in the four-game series against Humboldt on April 22, 2018. Photo credit: Janna Weiss

Chico’s third and final game was on Sunday against the Western Oregon Wolves. A team considered the underdog in the game ended up soundly defeating Chico by a score of 7-2. Perhaps the long weekend had finally caught up to the Wildcats, or perhaps they simply underestimated their opponents. Whatever the reason, Chico came out flat and their opponents didn’t miss the opportunity to take down one of the most dominant teams in Division II softball.

Chico State will be back at home with a chance to get back on track this upcoming Friday, taking on San Francisco State in a mini two-game series.

Noah Andrews can be reached at [email protected] or @SPORTSFROMNOAH on Twitter.

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Chico women’s softball faces highs and lows in Vegas tournament