Swing Music: Why the CSU softball team chooses certain walk-up songs

Mack Beaulieu

Its a source of energy to some, a message for others, almost irrelevant and yet something some players spend the whole year deciding. Walk-up music, like the length of your socks or how you step in the box, is one of the many tangible elements of baseball or softball that players may think helps drives their game.

Setting the groove for a team currently averaging a little over five runs per game, some of the Colorado State softball players gave an insight to how and why they picked their walk-up music for the 2018 season.

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Infielder, Isabella Navarro: “Scooby Doo Pa-pa” – DJ Kass

“I normally go with classic rock as my walk up song,” Navarro said. “But this year I wanted to do more of reggaeton just because I wanted to bring more of my background into it and have more of a fun song than something intense.”

After paying homage to her heritage, the song also serves to let Navarro loosen up at the plate and keep her off her heels, something that could be important as the transfer integrates into the CSU program this year.

“I love to dance, so it kind of gets my feet moving,” she said. “Instead of being stuck in the ground I’m lighter on my feet.”

Many players’ walk-up songs pay homage to something, alluding to some silent fact about themselves. Haley Donaldson’s is pretty obvious.

Infielder, Haley Donaldson: “Hometown” – Kane Brown

“It’s just my song because I grew up here,” Donaldson said. “The lyrics are to make your hometown proud and I’m just proud to be a CSU Ram…You work hard to make people around you proud and it’s just hard work pays off and the people that you love can see that.”

Donaldson knew this was her new song immediately when it came out.

“It probably came out this year or last year and I heard it on the radio and I was like, ‘This is a good song…this has got to be my walk-up song.'”

At the plate, Donaldson is making her hometown proud, hitting .359 with 19 RBIs and a recent walk-off single. While Donaldson’s song might tie more to the bonds in the crowd and her roots in Fort Collins, freshman Ashley Michelena links hers to bonds from former teams.

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Outfielder, Ashley Michelena: “Let’s go” – Trick Daddy

“It was my walk-up song in high school, too,” Michelena said. “It just gets me pumped and excited for the game. My high school coach actually picked it out for me, she always believed in me…and it totally just got the whole team pumped. I was lead-off, so it just got the game going.”

The lead-off spot belongs to Sarah Muzik most days, but Michelena is certainly helping keep the team going on offense with a .400 batting average in 18 games. Senior Hannah McCorkhill didn’t even know her song and Michelena needed help choosing hers. But some, like senior Madison Kilcrease, take it pretty seriously.

Outfielder, Madison Kilcrease: “Eliminate” – Period VIP

“I listened to like 20 songs before I chose mine,” Kilcrease said. “I usually know by the time I get back from summer, and if it doesn’t get me going and give me that feeling of, ‘Yeah! Let’s go kick some butt,’ then I don’t choose it. But that one I just feel like gets that little edge to me that I need going to the plate. Plus it sounds cool and you’re like, ‘Yeah, I’m pretty cool.'”

Easily the most excited to talk about her walk-up song, Kilcrease struck a pose with the last sentence, showing the importance that some songs have on players’ attitudes. The reasons for Amber Nelson’s walk-up song could make many nostalgic, but it may have a little more value for Nelson, especially after this weekend.

Catcher, Amber Nelson: “Tequila! Remix” – J.Rabbit

“It’s the song from ‘Sandlot’, but it’s a remix where they added base,” Nelson said. “It’s been my walk-up song since I could choose a walk up song…It’s just more of a comfort thing. It makes me happy whenever I hear it….My sister always called me Smalls growing up, even though I’m way taller than her.”

Last weekend, the song came on right before Nelson blasted a walk-off two-run homer.

Collegian sports reporter Mack Beaulieu can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @Macknz_James.