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The Orion

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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Wildcats sweep Saturday’s doubleheader with superb pitching

Offensive production and dominant pitching performances from Amelie Valdez and Katelyn Oldwin lead the way for back-to-back Wildcat wins
Amelie+Valdez+on+the+mound+for+the+Wildcats.+Photo+taken+by+Aaron+Draper+on+March+9.
Amelie Valdez on the mound for the Wildcats. Photo taken by Aaron Draper on March 9.

Sophomore Amelie Valdez started for Chico in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, and dominated the Sonoma State Seawolves (8-8, 5-4 CCAA) from start to finish. Valdez threw a complete game, nearly throwing a no-hitter, only allowing one hit and zero earned runs. 

Chico State (5-14, 5-11 CCAA) needed to flip the script after dropping games one and two of Friday’s doubleheader to split the series. 

Senior Tayler Berens and freshman Lilly Cante started the party for the Wildcats in the second inning of game one. Berens hit into a fielders choice to the short-stop which scored one, and Cante followed her up with a two-out double down the left-field line that scored two more, putting the Wildcats up early. 

Valdez, was consistently finding the strikezone throwing whatever she wanted, five and two thirds innings into her no-hit bid, a single up the middle with two outs spoiled the foreseeable milestone. 

In addition to Valdez’s outstanding performance on the mound, the defense behind her was stellar. Sophomore Karlie Bilbery made a diving catch into foul territory at third base in the first to cap off the inning and give the Wildcats momentum.

“Honestly, it was my defense,” Valdez said. “I felt like they were there for me today, which made me more comfortable on the mound.”

The Wildcats tacked on two more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth and brought the final score of the game to 5-0 for their fourth win of the season. 

Junior Katelyn Oldwin was the starter for the Wildcats in the second half of the doubleheader, not missing a step from Friday’s outing. Oldwin only allowed one earned run while striking out six battersthrough six and two-thirds innings pitched.

The Seawolves struck first in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly to right field that scored one. The Wildcats answered right back in the bottom half with a run of their own after an RBI single from sophomore Ashley Rocha.

The tie-ball game didn’t last long after the Wildcats broke the game wide open in the fifth inning, putting up six big runs. This came courtesy of a go-ahead single from Cante that scored one, followed up by a bases-clearing three-run single from Rocha, which landed her on third following an error from right field. 

This offensive production from the Cats kept the game out of the Seawolves’ reach and earned them the series split, winning both games in Saturday’s doubleheader 6-1.

“Coming off of these two wins, we are very excited, and we just want to keep working hard and pushing through to keep winning,” Cante said.

The Wildcats have a two-week break until their next game, which is in Stanislaus for the Stanislaus State Tournament of Champions. Their first tournament game is on March 22, against the Academy of Art,  at 4:30 p.m. at the City of Turlock Pedretti Sports Fields.

Lukas Mann can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Lukas Mann, Reporter
Lukas Mann is a journalism major with a minor in broadcasting. He is currently enrolled in his third-year at Chico State. Lukas has had a keen interest in sports for the majority of his life and is looking forward to integrating that passion into his work and effort for The Orion. After graduation, he hopes to be a writer for any professional sports teams having to do with the big four sports.

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