Reilani Peleti: a softball star for the Wildcats


Ryan McCasland/Chico State Sports Information

Reilani Peleti takes a swing in a softball game for Chico State.

Reilani Peleti, born in Petaluma, California is in her senior year at Chico State. She is a member of the softball team and one of the best hitters that’s currently on the roster. A 2017 graduate of Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park, California who plays in the infield.

Prior to coronavirus shutting down the season last semester, Peleti had a .415 average with three home runs and 15 runs batted in. She also had 27 hits, six of which were doubles and she scored 13 runs for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats were 19-2 overall, including 8-0 on their home turf. Had COVID-19 never interrupted their season, the team felt confident about their chances of entering the playoffs and the possibility of winning a title for the school.

“Without a doubt, I had the best feeling about this team,” Peleti said. “I’m really grateful a lot of us are coming back.”

Outside of playing the game, Peleti maintains close relationships with her current teammates including sophomore infielder Drew Rodriguez.

“I literally love Reilani so much,” Rodriguez said. “Coming in as a freshman last year and not really knowing what to expect, she was definitely one of the leaders to step in and help me and she would check in on me all the time.”

While Peleti has strong relationships with her teammates, she also comes from a well-rounded family, which includes having four siblings.

“I actually have four brothers,” Peleti said. “I’m the middle child. That’s made me really tough, I believe, also very competitive.

Peleti started playing softball at a young age and had someone in her life who she saw as inspiration to drive her toward wanting to play softball more than she already was.

“I had a coach, her name is Sam Banister,” Peleti said. “She played at University of Arizona. She really got me to pursue playing collegiately. I really appreciate her and her motivation because I thought I was just going to be playing for fun.”

When Peleti isn’t playing softball, she has hobbies that keep her busy when away from schoolwork.

“I really like to hike,” Peleti said. “I’m a parks and natural resources major, so I’m really passionate for the outdoors. I like going boating. Anything outdoors, I really enjoy.”

Peleti’s teammates have fond memories of not just on the softball field, but outside of it. They feel gratitude toward the friendships they have with her.

“I just like that she’s someone who you can talk to,” said junior outfielder Rachael Atkins. “She’s always super welcoming and is always checking up on you. She does a lot of good things with work and in the community and I think she can represent the team well outside of softball.”

With Peleti being a senior, there’s no guarantee that she will return for a fifth year due to the COVID-19 rule. This rule means that because COVID interrupted their current season, after the end of their senior year, they can return for a fifth year if they so choose. Her teammates will miss her greatly if she decides to leave and won’t forget her presence with the team.

“I think just having someone that you can call a good friend and just knowing that she’ll always be there, she’ll always show up and she always works hard,” Atkins said. “She works hard on and off the field in relationships and every aspect of school and work. She’s always just working very hard.”

With Peleti and other members of the roster being in their senior year, some may decide to return, while others may not. Recently, the Wildcats acquired six new athletes 

 that are now on the team waiting to play once coronavirus goes away. 

These women have spoken very highly of the way the Wildcats play softball and hope to learn from the women already on the team. They expressed seeing them as role models that they can look up to.

“Hearing that gave me goosebumps,” Atkins said. “I think it’s awesome because I can remember myself going to games and seeing the atmosphere that Chico State brings. I think that the girls will be super welcoming and lead everyone in the right path. I think they will all settle in really well.”

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