Otters sink Wildcats in Chico doubleheader


Brooke Larsen up at home plate batting at University Softball field. Photo Courtesy of Sports Information/ Skip Reager

The Wildcats headed to the Bay Area this weekend to face off against California State University, Monterey Bay in a weekend series.

Chico State was off to an early series lead Saturday taking the first game. The day was far from over as the Otters kept the Wildcats scoreless in the second game, taking the game 0-4.

Chico State looked to close the four-game series the way they started but the Otters shut them out taking the doubleheader Sunday 1-3 and 2-6.

This knocked the Wildcats down to third place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) with a conference record of 17-9 and a 23-11 record overall.

Game one:

Chico State struggled to score runs throughout the day and ended the doubleheader with only nine hits. Brooke Larsen, Bailey Akins, Wendy Cardinali and Kristin Worley had two hits, leading the Wildcats offense.

Larsen pitched against Monterey Bay’s Celeste Villagrana who started off the series making a notable performance, going seven innings and striking out 11 Wildcats, in Saturday’s doubleheader. This explosive performance carried onto Sunday’s doubleheader as she kept the Wildcats scoreless in the first two innings of the game.

This allowed the Otters to gain an early lead in the bottom of the second inning with a score of 1-0. Chico State looked for redemption and Akins stepped up to get the first hit of the day at the top of the fifth inning.

The Wildcats were on a mission to turn things around as they had runners on second and third base with only one out. But the hit they needed to take the lead never came as Villagrana struck the next two batters out.

For the Otters, it was a different story as they managed to get a pair of runs at the bottom of the fifth extending their lead to 3-0.

As it seemed over for Chico State, Larsen broke the scoreless game at the top of the sixth inning. She delivered a one-out single and got to third base on a Monterey Bay error. Reilani Peleti’s drove in Larsen with a base hit to right field. The Wildcats were on the board but it was not enough as the Otters took the game 3-1.

Game two:

Bailey Akins 1.jpg
Bailey Akins catching the ball at University Softball Field. Photo Courtesy of Sports Information/Skip Reager.

Chico refused to stay behind in the second game coming in hot with a run at the top of the first inning. But the Otters retaliated by having 10 batters step to the plate in the bottom of the first and scoring four runs.

Monterey Bay kept trickling in a run in the second and third innings increasing their lead to 6-1. Akins got the second run of the game for the Wildcats at the top of the seventh inning with a two-out solo home run, but it was far too late and the Otters won 6-2.

The Wildcats come back home to the University Softball field to host Stanislaus State in a four-game conference series. The series starts with a doubleheader on Friday at 1 p.m. and continues on Saturday twin bill at 12 p.m.

Lucero Del Rayo-Nava can be reached at [email protected] or @del_rayo98 on Twitter.