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Ohlone softball pitcher wins Pitcher of the Year

May 11, 2017

Ohlone softball pitcher, Nalani Scates, has been named California Community College Athlete Association (CCCAA) Pitcher of the Year.

Scates, a freshman studying human development, was also honored with earning All-Conference (Coast-North) Pitcher of the Year. Scates was 23-2 with a 1.07 ERA.

Scates finished the regular season with a state leading 303 strikeouts, with hopes of breaking the state record of 459 strikeouts throughout the team’s playoff run.

According to the CCCAA website, she ranks 14th most all-time in the state with her single season record of 303 strikeouts.

In a recent interview, Scates said she didn’t know about the record until her teammates acknowledged it.

“I didn’t think about it going into the season,” said Scates. "I looked at the stats mid-way through, and I was told I had a good chance at breaking the record, so that’s my ultimate goal.”

Moreover, she didn’t expect to have this much success as a freshman in junior college.

“I had a pretty successful few years at [Foothill High School], but I never imagined that I would be this successful in college,” said Scates.

 Scates’ passion for softball began when she was eight years old, following in the footsteps of her parents.

“My Mom played sports when she was younger and my Dad has played sports his whole life” said Scates. 

With earning her spot of as one of the starting pitchers, Scates knew she needed to work hard in order to keep her form intact.

“I practice every single day, and I work really hard,” said Scates. “I practice 30 minutes [in pitching] a day, so I take my time and really put 100% effort in.”

One of Scates’ biggest influences in her life as a softball player is her family.

“My family is a huge part of why I strive to be successful,” said Scates. “They have been there for every step of my softball career and they have constantly been- supportive of me despite wins and losses.”

She also made sure to give credit to the ones who polished her pitching skills.

“My coaches have an impact,” said Scates. “They push me to be better. They make me comfortable to ask questions and question them when I don’t feel comfortable doing something.”      

Head Coach Julie Marshall had nothing but kind words to say when asked about her thoughts on Scates as a player.

“Nalani is the type of player that brings so much value to a team!” said Marshall. “Her athletic ability speaks for itself with the numbers, but it’s what she brings to the table as a person and student that really separates her from others! Nalani is a competitor and truly an honor to coach!”

When asked about her future plans down the road, Scates hopes to keep her dream alive.

“I hope to attend and play at a four year,” said Scates. “For my future career, I would love to be able to help children that struggle in school get the help and guidance they need.”

The Lady Renegades are currently competing in the NorCal Regional Playoffs. The Renegades defeated the Sequoias Giants 2-0 on Friday and 6-5 on Saturday to advance to the next round.

Scates stuck out 17 batters between the two games to increase her strikeout record to 320.

Scates believes this team, Team 32, has what it takes go all the way.

“I definitely feel really, really confident,” said Scates. “I think we work really well as a team; we’re a family before we’re a team, so I think that makes us play better on the field. I think we can go pretty far, and I hope that we can win it all.”

The Renegades will face Consumes River in Round 2 of the playoffs in Stockton this Friday, May 12, with first pitch at 4 p.m.

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