Feb 292004
 
Authors: Paul Baker

Ricki Walker is one of the many great student athletes who

attend CSU. She is a senior majoring in psychology and the first

baseman for the softball team. She is also a great person to be

around on and off the field, many of her teammates say. This will

be her last season as a Ram, and she hopes to make the best out of

it.

Walker went to high school in Colorado, attending Smoky Hill. At

Smoky

Hill she earned four letters and was named to all-league and

all-state teams four times. She holds Smoky Hill school records for

home runs, batting average, doubles and triples.

After graduating, she decided to continue playing softball in

college at the University of Missouri. After a year, she felt that

her talent and skill weren’t being utilized in a way where she

could improve. So she transferred to CSU and has proceeded to be a

catalyst to a potent Rams offense.

“I just felt that I wouldn’t improve if I stayed there, so I

transferred,” Walker said of Missouri.

Lucky for the Rams, Walker chose CSU as her transfer school. In

her first season at CSU she was second on the team in batting

average (.377) and led the team in runs batted in with 23.

Last season, Walker led the team to its second NCAA tournament

appearance in school history and a championship in the MWC

Tournament. She was named to the MWC All Tournament Team; she also

earned third team Easton All-American honors while leading the team

with a career-high 46 RBI and recording nine home runs. That season

propelled her to third place in career home runs at CSU with

14.

Looking back at an impressive season, Walker has set high goals

she hopes to achieve and build on this year.

“This year I really want to be All-Conference, and I want to

make first-team

All-American,” Walker said.

So far this year Walker leads the team in seven categories,

including batting average (.444), slugging percentage (.630),

on-base percentage (.531), hits (24), doubles (7), total bases

(34), and is tied for the RBI lead with 13.

She also leads the team with most multi-hit games with six.

Through continued production, Walker and the Rams should power

through their competition this year.

Earlier this year Walker was lucky enough to be drafted by the

Colorado Altitude, a team from the National Pro Fastpitch league, a

new league that will start play in May and will continue throughout

the summer.

“I am very honored to be drafted by the league,” Walker said,

“but I am going to focus on my senior season of softball

first.”

Head coach Mary Yori agreed that Walker’s drafting is a big

deal.

“It’s awesome that Ricki has the chance to do this,” Yori said.

“It’s great for her and the program.”

Walker has appeared in every game since coming to CSU in 2002.

Her total of 121 consecutive games started also leads the team.

With great team chemistry this year and a desire to get back to

the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, the Rams see no

problems winning this season. Walker and the Rams get back into

action this weekend, hosting three games against Utah State on

Saturday and Sunday. All games will be played at Rams Field.

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