Chico State softball eliminated from Conference Tournament

Bailey Akins had an RBI and a walk against Cal State Monterey Bay in Fridays CCAA championship game. Photo credit: Olyvia Simpson

Bailey Akins had an RBI and a walk against Cal State Monterey Bay in Friday’s CCAA championship game. Photo credit: Olyvia Simpson

After an opening round loss to Cal State San Bernadino on Thursday, the Wildcats found themselves in a win-or-go-home situation against Cal State Monterey Bay.

The task would prove to be a difficult one, seeing as Chico had lost the regular season series to the Otters 3-1.

The final score of the game was a perfect representation of the regular season series as Chico was bested 3-1.

A bases-loaded walk from Monterey’s Hayley Fein saw Chico State’s Ari Marsh take a stroll home, giving the Wildcats a lead of 1-0. Fein proceeded to lock down and only allowed three hits throughout the rest of the game.

The Wildcat’s lead was short-lived, as Monterey started the third inning by popping off for two runs. They added an insurance run at the top of the sixth, but never felt in danger of losing due to Fein’s excellent pitching performance.

The ‘Cats’ had its chances to steal the victory but were unable to capitalize on opportunities. Stranding the bases loaded at the bottom of the sixth and grounding out with a runner on second in the seventh, Chico was never able to get into the swing of things offensively.

The Wildcats have to be disappointed with being the first team to get bounced out of the tournament, considering they were the defending California Collegiate Athletic Association champions.

However, their fantastic regular season assures them the opportunity to play more softball.

The Wildcats will now look ahead to the NCAA Championship where they’ve secured a spot as one of the top eight teams in the Division II West Region. The double-elimination tournament bracket will be announced on Monday.

The Wildcats will have its chance to prove this past tournament was a fluke and not representative of the teams overall quality and talent.

Noah Andrews can be reached at [email protected] or @SPORTSFROMNOAH1 on Twitter.