“I just hit the ball hard.”
That is Cheyenne Garcia’s theory on how a woman who only is listed at 4-feet-11-inches can lead the NDSU softball team in homeruns with five already this year.
Garcia, a sophomore, grew up in San Diego, Calif., where the weather is hot and the only snow days she had heard about were in movies.
“San Diego was good; I didn’t really know anything else,” Garcia said. “Now that I’ve seen this weather, I kind of miss it. Being prepared for the weather has been the biggest transition. I’ve never really wore a jacket before, much less two.”
Garcia started playing softball when she was six years old. She was exposed to the sport very early and that early exposure sparked a fire inside her that would be fueled with each and every season.
“I’ve always loved softball,” Garcia said. “I’ve always wanted to go to college, but going into high school was when I knew that I could go to college for softball.”
Garcia is a bit of a foreshadower because she envisioned all this before it even happened. She had a great career at Ranch Buena Vista High School. She was a four-year starter. As just a freshman, she won Offensive Player of the Year and was second-team All-California Interscholastic Federation. She became first time all-league as a sophomore. The next year, she raised the bar. In her junior year, she was Player of the Year and first team All-CIF. Garcia broke the CIF record for triples in a game as a senior. She was also a three-year starter in field hockey, earning first team all-league and All-CIF honors as a junior.
After that type of high school career, Garcia needed to pick a college to take her talents to. Despite interest from Hawaii, San Diego and some east coast schools, this is where the home of the Bison, land of snow came into play.
“I went on a visit,” Garcia explained. “Actually when I took my visit, I knew right away that I wanted to go there. I still had other visits scheduled with other schools. I knew right away. The environment and the team, it felt like a family. I’m really close to my family. So it made sense.”
Garcia did take her visit in the fall before the snow came, so she was in for a culture shock when she actually attended the school.
Garcia started her career off at NDSU by making the All-Summit League second team.
“I was actually surprised. I didn’t really think I was going to, but I did. So it was cool,” Garcia said.
Garcia has played in only 80 games as a Bison but already has 11 home runs.
“I have big legs,” Garcia said. “I feel like people underestimate me because of my size too, so it is kind of cool. I just hit the ball hard. Hitting the ball is my favorite part of softball.”
Garcia is having a great year through 31 games. She has a batting average of .371, five home runs, 11 extra-base hits, 15 stolen bases and only two errors as a second baseman.
Garcia has a few things that she likes to do when she is not on the field cranking balls to the point of no return.
“I like to hang out with the team,” she said. “We like to play music, dance and play card games on the bus.”
Garcia chose her jersey number through a concise, calculated decision.
“Well my favorite numbers are two and three but number one was the only jersey that fit me. People had already (chosen) two and three, so it was easy.”
Garcia is majoring in human development and social science in hopes of pursuing social work. Upon her completion at NDSU, she would like to attend graduate school. She also wants to hopefully get her own place back home in the basking sun of San Diego where she can go to the beach, lounge by the pool and bask in the sun.