Wildcats sweep the Pioneers in opening doubleheader


Hana Beaty

Brooke Larsen follows through a hard swing against Cal State East Bay.

The Wildcats opened up a big series at home with a doubleheader against the California State East Bay Pioneers on Feb. 28. Winning both, Chico State extended their win streak to seven.

Brooke Larsen was the starting pitcher for the Wildcats. Coming into the game, Larsen had a 6-1 record with 46 strikeouts on the season. She showed why she is the ace of the staff by throwing six shutout innings, striking out six batters and not allowing a hit from the Pioneers in her performance.

“She (Larsen) is amazing and she’s really a strikeout pitcher,” freshman infielder Drew Rodriguez said. “I know that when she steps in the circle and I’m behind her, I just have all the confidence in the world for her.”

Brooke Larsen winds up in a pitch against Cal State East Bay.

An intense moment in the game for the Wildcats came in the top of the fourth inning when Larsen allowed a few batters to reach base. Infielder for the Pioneers Sarah Fukushima hit a sharp ground ball to the right side of the diamond. Junior infielder Angel Lopez layed out and managed to snag the ball and get the out, saving a potential run.

“I was just trying to keep the ball in the infield, not let it go by and keep everything in front knowing that there’s a runner that can tie the game. So, I was trying to do what I can and help my pitcher out,” Lopez said. 

Outside of Larsen’s pitching performance, she managed to acquire great run support from her teammates as the Wildcats went on to win the game 8-0 in six innings. Multiple players contributed to this huge shutout, but none more than Angel Lopez, who had three runs batted in.

Wildcat runner slides home head first.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Wildcats managed to pick up right where they left off as Sam Mulock got the ball in game two. Mulock was just about as dominant as Larsen, as she struck out four batters and pitched a complete game shutout. The Wildcats beat the Pioneers 2-0. 

Not to mention, senior infielder Kristin Worley made history on Friday as she scored her 142nd run of her Chico State career, breaking Alli Cook’s record of 141. 

“She’s (Worley) an amazing player – an all around athlete,” Larsen said. “I’m not surprised that she broke the record because she’s probably the fastest person I’ve ever seen on the field. I’m just super proud of her and how she’s handling her senior season.”

With these two victories, the Wildcats now progress to an overall record of 14-1 while maintaining a seven game win streak. The shared chemistry of this squad is a large contributor to the team’s winning streak.

“I love each and every one of these girls on the team,” Larsen said. “We are all super close. All of us hang out outside of softball and in softball. That really helps to have those kinds of relationships on the field.”

Alex Martin can be reached at [email protected] or @amjournalism130 on Twitter.