Chico State sweeps Cal State San Bernardino in walk-off fashion


Johnny Maldonado

Wildcats celebrating their walk-off victory.

Chico State Softball showed true grit in their final game against San Bernardino, as they dominated and won all four games.

Up until the sixth inning, Chico State was completely shut out. Freshman utility player Hailey Seva hit her second home run in an attempt to get something going on the offensive end.

This marked her seventh hit in the series. Seva said it felt great finally being able to make solid contact.

“I simplified my approach and went up there confident every time,” Seva said. “In my head there was no doubt in my mind I was gonna get a hit.”

Heading into the seventh inning, Chico State was down 1-4. 

Before going into the dugout for their last offensive opportunity, junior infielder Alani Nguyen said the team got together and reassured themselves that they would be able to win.

Senior outfielder and pitcher, Amanda Metzger, hit a lead off double to right field igniting some life.

Amanda Metzger starting a rally in the seventh inning.
Amanda Metzger sliding into second base for her double.

After her double, it became nearly impossible to stop Chico State’s momentum. The Coyotes were forced to switch pitchers after giving up a double and a walk with no outs. 

This made no difference, the new pitcher walked another batter and the Wildcats had the bases loaded.

Freshman outfielder Jade Henry pinch hit for senior shortstop Rachael Bles in hope of chipping away at the lead.

This move paid off, as Henry came in clutch with a two-RBI hit to centerfield. Although she was thrown out at second, Henry kept them within striking distance.

Coming off the bench to bring in urgent runs is not an easy task. She took advantage of her opportunity to help her team succeed.

“The cheers of my teammates and support from Coach Shamblin’s confidence in my abilities, gave me the confidence in myself to perform especially in this stressful time,” Henry said.

Following Henry was senior first baseman Reilani Peleti who had an RBI single to right field, tying the game 4-4. 

With two outs and the future of the game in her hands, Nguyen was not going down without a fight. In the midst of her battle the crowd sat anxiously waiting to see what would happen next.

Nguyen continued fouling off pitches until she was able to finally drive in the winning run, hitting it to right field. Her plan was simple: Find a pitch to drive.

Alani Nguyen waits patiently for a pitch she wants to drive in the winning run.
photo by: Johnny Maldonado

“I was specifically looking for an outside pitch and once I saw that pitch I capitalized on it,” Nguyen said.

Chico State ended the game with a four-run rally to complete their first sweep of the season winning 5-4.

Starting off the series, senior pitcher Brooke Larsen struck out eight of the nine batters she faced in the first three innings.

After taking an early 2-0 lead in the second inning, they continued to collect base hits with runners in scoring position, adding runs in the third and fifth innings.

San Bernardino did everything they could to not be shut out in the final inning. They took advantage of a walk Larsen gave up and brought her across home plate for their only run.

In the end, Chico State asserted their dominance, beating the Coyotes 4-1. 

Pitching continued to overpower San Bernardino in their second game on Friday.

Freshman starting pitcher Katelyn Oldwin went six innings, allowed three hits and one earned run. Once her pitching outing was finished, freshman pitcher Mari Takeda Bajan came in and earned her first save of the season. 

Mari Takeda Bajan pitching in the fifth inning of the final game earning her second save of the season.

The Coyotes weren’t able to silence Chico State; it was tied 0-0 until the fourth inning. They were able to score off a wild pitch and then a pop fly to the infield making it 2-0.

Henry said staying mentally tough is what helps the team obliterate their opponents.

“The fight never stops with us,” Henry said. “Our team is stacked with talent that each and every person keeps the fight going.”

In the sixth inning, senior outfielder Rachael Atkins pinch hit for Metzger. She hit a triple down the right field line with one out. Henry came through with a sacrifice line drive to center field bringing in Atkins, winning 3-1.

Chico State Softball dominated the third game from the very start. Seva put them on top in the first inning with her first home run of her college career. 

After the home run, Peleti was hit by a pitch. Revoir had a single to right field, which moved Peleti to third base.

Once Chico State started making contact, it shook-up the Coyotes a bit, and they made an error when Larsen hit it to their second baseman. This brought in Peleti to score, making it 2-0.

Game three went in favor of the Wildcats. They applied constant pressure on the defense and their pitching staff. In the sixth, Chico State made San Bernardino make three different errors, which brought in two more runs. 

Larsen pitched another gem, contributing to their 5-0 shut-out. Larsen had a total of 12 strikeouts, three hits and only allowed four walks.

Coming up victorious against the Coyotes, Chico State is set face off to Cal Poly Humboldt for another four-game series. On March 4 they’ll play at noon and 2:30 p.m. Then on March 5 games will begin at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Johnny Maldonado can be reached at [email protected].