Wildcat of the Week: Brooke Larsen


Larsen also excels in batting and owns a .316 batting average on the season in 64 plate appearances. She slugs .406 and has a .313 on-base percentage. She has 20 hits with 12 RBIs. Photo credit: Christian Solis

Brandon Downs

Brooke Larsen is a transfer student in her sophomore year for Chico State who is putting together a great season on the mound and at the plate.

In February, Larsen won California Collegiate Athletic Association Pitcher of the Week, and on April 2 was honored with the Player of the Week award.

On the mound, Larsen is currently 16-4 with a 1.38 ERA and 122 strikeouts. With the bat. Larsen has a .313 batting average, one home run, and 12 RBIs.

You’re a sophomore out of Sacramento, why did you choose to come to Chico State to play softball?

We did play them last year in preseason at my old school and they were really good competitors and I just really liked the whole dynamic of the team and the school is beautiful and it’s close to home and I just really enjoyed the whole dynamic of the school and the team.

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Through 121 1/3 innings pitched this season Larsen has allowed just 72 hits, 49 walks and 24 earned runs. She owns a 1.38 ERA and has limited her opponents to a .167 batting average. Photo credit: Christian Solis

How do you balance being the team’s top pitcher and top hitter?

I balance it with just really good mental strength, I think. Just coming in from pitching and into hitting, you have to really switch your mindset, and I think that’s how.

Who has been the biggest influence in your softball career?

I think my dad has been the biggest influence for me just because he’s made softball like a fun game for me to play instead of a job and he was my first coach and he always pushed to the best of my capabilities and that’s why I think he’s a definitely a big person.

Growing up, who was your favorite athlete, from any sport, to watch play and why?

I think Rachel Garica is a really fun pitcher to watch play from UCLA and just because of her demeanor on the mound. It’s so intense and she is just a great overall player.

Do you have pre-game routines or rituals that you do before a game?

We listen to pump-up music and we dance and just have a really good time and pump each other up. I think that it’s really important for our team to just have fun before the game in order to have fun and to get on the field and be pumped up for the game.

What pitches do you throw and what do you think is your best pitch currently?

I throw a change-up, drop ball, curveball, rise and back door curve, and my go-to pitch would have to be a back door curve.

In the Tournament of Champions, you had three complete games, giving up just three runs. You also had the game-winning sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. What did you attribute your success to that weekend?

I definitely attribute my success to my team just because whenever somebody is struggling, somebody else picks them up. A lot of people picked me up that weekend on defense, and not allowing those runs to score, but the overall goal for each and every game is to not let any runs score at all so my team can come in and score those runs for me.

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Chico State is first in all of CCAA softball for pitching. Larsen’s 15 complete games, shutouts and 122 strikeouts make it hard for the competition to score or even get on base. Photo credit: Christian Solis

What are the team’s goals as the season winds down?

Our goal is definitely to go as far as we can but you have to take it one game at a time and one pitch at a time, and I think our goal is to definitely go postseason and try to get to where they got last year.

What are you most excited for the rest of the season?

Finishing the season out really strong with my teammates. We have a really good time on the field with each other and it’s just a really fun experience to be a part of with these girls. So it’s just really exciting to be able to look forward to those future games.

Brandon Downs can be reached at [email protected] or @downsbrandon2 on Twitter.