Sophomore slugger brings championship pedigree to Sac State softball team

Lewa Day has 9 home runs on the season

Sara Nevis

John Cabales

The Firecrackers softball team lost their play-in game to get into the 2018 Premier Girls Fastpitch Nationals Platinum Division, but as they sat on the bus heading home dejected and disappointed, they suddenly received a phone call.

The call was from the tournament organizers informing the Firecrackers that one team had been given two bids, and if they wanted the extra spot, they could have it. 

They accepted and tore through their competition, winning every game to become the 2018 Premier Girls Fastpitch National Champions.

And after that victory, Lewa Day, now a sophomore at Sacramento State, had her sights set on more championships and on a bigger stage.

Day started playing softball at the age of 7 in Fairfield, California. She said after her first season of playing soccer there was a sign-up table for softball. Since her dad played baseball and it was his favorite sport, it seemed fitting for her to join softball.

When Day got to high school, she ended up being a starter all four years at Armijo High School. She also became a two-time Monticello Empire League MVP, receiving those honors her junior and senior years.

Story continues below the gif

Sara Nevis

During her time at Armijo, she had 23 home runs, six triples and 21 doubles with an impressive .592 on-base percentage.

Day wanted to challenge herself in order to get on the radar of more scouts, so she traveled to Elk Grove to play with the Firecrackers.

“I wanted to see better competition and showcase my talent with other talented girls like the ones who played on the Firecrackers, in order to be seen by college coaches,” Day said.

Choosing to join the Firecrackers paid off. Coaches from Sac State were watching the national tournament, and they liked what they saw. 

And Day liked what she saw when she went on her official visit to Sac State.

“I got a call and my coach was saying how they [Sac State coaches] were there at the tournament, and they liked what I did, and they were interested in me,” Day said. “So, I came down onto the campus and basically loved it from there, loved the coaches and how their energy was to me that day.”

Sacramento’s proximity to her family in Fairfield played a part in Day choosing to come and play at Sac State.

“That’s a big thing for my parents to see me play,” Day said. “Going across the world is nice too, but it’s something about being close to home, and my parents seeing me play was something I needed.”

Day is now a sophomore playing third base for Sac State, and even though her freshman year was cut short due to COVID-19, she has not missed a beat.

Day currently has nine of Sac State’s 18 home runs, a .658 slugging percentage, a .278 batting average and a .412 on base percentage. 

“She’s always hitting bombs no matter what, front toss, live, machine, all the time,” said Sac State freshman outfielder Camryn Thomas, who played alongside Day on the Firecrackers in 2018.

Story continues below the gallery

Day brings more to the team than just hitting the ball out of the park. Although she is just a sophomore, she is advising and uplifting her teammates whenever they need her, especially freshman Kennedy Echols, who was also a Firecracker with Day and Thomas.

“She’s very much a leader on the team,” Echols said. “Her energy is different, you can’t expect everyone to bring that type of energy to the game.”

Thomas said she appreciates seeing Day have the same energy on the field that she did when they were in high school.

“She was at third base and she would be super energetic, so sometimes my coach, my dad, would move her to the outfield,” Thomas said. “She would still be super, super loud all the time cause she was a great teammate.

Not only do Day’s teammates enjoy having her on the team, coaches do as well.

“She was great to coach,” said Michael Thomas, the coach of the Firecrackers. “You tell her to do something and she would go out there and do it.” 

Day said that her goal now is to win not just one, but multiple championships before her time is done at Sac State. 

“I want a ring. I want a couple rings,” Day said. “That’s a goal for me, and that’s a goal for our team too.” 

“We definitely want some rings on our fingers,” Day said.

Coach Thomas said that Day is going to do everything she can to make that happen.

“She means it when she says that, believe her when she says it, and she will do her part to make it happen,” Coach Thomas said. “When it is all said and done, I plan to see her name in the Sac State record books.”