Williams Finds Home in CWU Softball

Austin Lane, Staff Reporter

CWU Softball Pitcher Taylor Williams comes from a small-town city east of Los Angeles. With a population of about 40,000, Brea, California is where Williams played her high school softball.

Coming from Southern California, Williams had no idea she would attend CWU until head coach Mike Larabee started recruiting her.“Coming to Central was a total luck-of-the-draw sort of thing,” Williams said. “I had never even heard of Central before… I was 100 percent scared to come, but the second I got here and met the team and was on the campus, I fell in love.”

Williams knew by the time she was halfway through high school that it was “100 percent achievable” to be a college softball player.

“It was something that I always wanted to do, but it was also something I was kind of afraid of making my goal because it sometimes felt unachievable,” Williams said. “Around my sophomore year of high school was when I really realized that’s what I wanna do… it became the goal I was reaching for no matter what.”

Williams is a sophomore and has already made a huge impact on the team, pitching a no-hitter on April 22 against rival Western Washington University (WWU). A big part of the no-hitter was the offense. CWU scored eight runs in four innings, which made the fifth inning a do-or-die situation for WWU. The Vikings would have needed to score two runs in the top of the fifth in order to stay in the game, due to the NCAA mercy rule. They would end up with no hits through those five innings, giving Williams the career milestone.

According to Williams, having those runs helped out a lot.

“Having that energy and having my team behind me… nothing compares to that and I think that’s huge,” Williams said. “Sometimes you have to take that pressure off of you and play in a way that gives you that energy to win.”

Celine Fowler, a senior outfielder on the team, enjoys playing while Williams is on the mound. Fowler admires Williams’ composure on the mound and said that she holds herself confidently.

In her freshman year, Williams couldn’t travel with the team when they went to their first road tournament with her on the roster. Fowler said that Williams wasn’t performing to her potential, and that missing the tournament lit a fire in her.

“I feel like her attitude is so positive and it carries on to everyone else on the team,” Fowler said about her teammate. “You can always count on her to be positive and happy and really funny in the dugout, she’s just so sweet.”

Fowler was in the outfield for Williams’ no-hitter, and made sure to not bring up the no-hitter in possibilities of jinxing it. She did however feel excited and happy for Williams after the game and felt that “there’s no other pitcher that deserves this more.”

This year marked the third year in a row that the team won at least 30 games, but the season was cut short early into the postseason last weekend. The CWU Softball team was eliminated from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) tournament after going 0-2, suffering a 9-0 loss to Simon Fraser last Thursday, and losing the next game to Western Oregon, 4-2.

Now that the season is over, Williams brought up how she found new ways to help out the team this season. Moving forward, she looks to further expand on being a team leader.

“This year I achieved a lot more than I did last year and I found a role and I’m able to help my team in a lot more ways than I was previously,” Williams said. “I really hope to just continue doing that. I just wanna have a role, I wanna be able to help us win, I wanna help make us better, and I wanna be able to make my teammates wanna do the same.”

Williams wants those leadership roles on the team and wants to constantly help improve the squad as a whole, but isn’t forgetting to focus on her own performance.

“My mound presence is really important to me. I wanna be on the mound, and I wanna look like a force that the other team doesn’t mess with,” Williams said. “I wanna be a steady force.”