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There’s no place like home plate

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There’s no place like home plate

Freshman outfielder Ally Miller and Freshman catcher Delaney Snyder warming up before practice on April 10.

Freshman outfielder Ally Miller and Freshman catcher Delaney Snyder warming up before practice on April 10.

JJ Reed

Freshman outfielder Ally Miller and Freshman catcher Delaney Snyder warming up before practice on April 10.

JJ Reed

JJ Reed

Freshman outfielder Ally Miller and Freshman catcher Delaney Snyder warming up before practice on April 10.

By Chris Burdick, Assistant Sports Editor

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As the saying goes, home is where the heart is, and for two of CSU Bakersfield softball team’s brightest up-and-coming stars, that saying is true.

Freshman outfielder Ally Miller and freshman catcher Delaney Snyder were raised in Bakersfield and have accepted the challenge of playing division one softball for the Roadrunners.

Snyder attended Frontier High School in Bakersfield and was selected for the Titans varsity softball team all four years. She excelled at the catcher and first base positions for the Titans and had a batting average of .351 in all four years for the team while showing promise as a power hitter with her seven home runs.

Miller was a late pick-up last season for CSUB from Liberty High School in Bakersfield.  As the Patriots outfielder, she had a batting average of .351 in her senior year and was a hard batter to deal with for most opposing pitchers, finishing with 73 total hits and was walked 24 times.

It was Snyder’s power and Miller’s ability at the leadoff spot in the batting rotation that immediately caught the eye of CSUB head coach Crissy Ziegler.

“Delaney’s size and power really brought my eyes too her. The fact that she plays catcher and can help us behind the plate really helps as well,” Ziegler said. “[Miller] is a hard nose kid, she was a hard out at Liberty and that’s really something that I like and that’s really what she has brought to us.”

“I knew Delaney could hit the ball and can be a power hitter and she just needs to keep developing,” Zeigler said. “I liked Ally’s speed and her ability in the outfield and I think she is going to continue to grow in our program.”

Coming into her eighth year as head coach of the Roadrunners, coach Zeigler has made it clear that CSUB’s softball program is a blue-collar program, filled with hard working players who are prepared to work in order to excel. A challenge that Miller and Snyder were more than excited to accept.

“High school coaches didn’t really understand the seriousness or importance of the game because they are just teachers,” Snyder said. “But this is coach’s job, this is what she does, she brings a lot more excitement, a lot more focus and a lot more intensity which just makes [softball] more fun.”

“It’s completely different. The intensity and excitement for it is just different,” Miller said. “In high school you’re are playing for the school, but it wasn’t as hyped up as here, you have other athletes coming to your games, it’s just crazy.”

Even as new additions to the team, it took Miller and Snyder no time at all to be accepted by their teammates. The two freshmen were welcomed by the team like family within the first week of workouts and have been comfortable with them ever since.

The two have also caught the eye of some upperclassmen on the team. Senior utility player Nadia Amezcua and Junior catcher Karah Wiseman have taken it upon themselves to show the newcomers the ropes of playing for Coach Zeigler as well as the importance of keeping calm during the game when things are not going well for the team.

Both Miller and Snyder say that the biggest benefit from choosing to play at CSUB is the constant support of their high school friends and families. Both of the CSUB prospect’s families have been a constant sight at games to cheer on the Roadrunners, filling up entire bleachers during home games to show support.

So far this season, Miller has been able to work her way into a starting spot in the outfield for the Roadrunners. Miller has appeared in all 35 games this season for CSUB while recording a batting average of .264 on 24 total hits.

Snyder has yet to make an appearance on the season, but is still well at work in developing her power for when her first chance at the plate arrives.

“You can always do better than what goal you set,” Snyder said.        “I’m just working on my process, working on being able to play and just constantly grinding.”

With the support from friends and family filling the stands and their teammates in the dugout, Miller and Snyder are more than prepared to work their way up the ranks in division one softball.

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There’s no place like home plate