Castillo to play softball at Cal State Bakersfield

Former Orange Cove, Reedley College standout will join rebuilding project with young Roadrunners team after posting all-conference freshman season as catcher

Anahi Castillo, second from left, is congratulated by her Reedley College teammates after belting one of her team-high nine home runs this season. The Orange Cove High product, a first team all-Central Valley Conference selection this spring, has received a full scholarship to play softball at Cal State Bakersfield starting in 2024-25. (Danny Jimenez)
Jon Earnest
Published June 28, 2024  • 
4:00 pm

REEDLEY – Winning has been a regular part of Ahani Castillo’s softball journey, first with two championship teams at Orange Cove High and then at Reedley College. She now hopes to help build a winning tradition in Kern County.

Castillo, a star on two Central Section championship teams for the Titans and a first team all-Central Valley Conference selection for RC in 2024, has signed to attend Cal State Bakersfield on a full scholarship. She’s joining a Roadrunners team in ground-level rebuild mold, coming off a 5-46 season under first-year coach Letty Olivarez.

But Castillo is a big addition to a CSB squad looking to return to respectability. She batted .369 with nine home runs, 41 hits, 40 runs batted in, seven doubles and 31 walks (all team high) at Reedley College posted a 23-18 and qualified for the California Community College Athletic Association Northern California regional playoffs.

Anahi is excited for her new challenge at CSB, and will be one of a handful of incoming Central Valley players to bolster the roster. She’ll begin practices and conditioning for fall ball season beginning in late August.

“There’s a lot of good transfers coming into the program, so we should be much better,” Castillo said. Also coming to CSB are incoming freshmen Tiamaiah Ouk-Campos (shortstop, Hanford West) and Ashley Espino (catcher-infielder. El Diamante) along with Fresno City College infield transfer Hannah Garcia.

Anahi Castillo celebrates a run-scoring triple during Orange Cove High’s victory over Mission College Prep in the Central Section Division IV championship game in 2023. Castillo, a first team all-Central Valley Conference selection at Reedley College this spring, has received a full scholarship to play softball at Cal State Bakersfield starting in 2024-25. (Jon Earnest)

At Orange Cove, Anahi and younger sister Mia Castillo formed a formidable catcher-pitcher battery as the Titans went a combined 51-14-6 in 2022 and 2023 with two Division IV section titles and a D-IV Southern California crown in 2022. Anahi batted .417 as a senior and .401 in three seasons with 89 hits, 72 RBI and 10 home runs.

Castillo said she’s excited to continue her education at Bakersfield, and is studying kinesiology with a goal of becoming an athletic trainer. She took online courses for her first studies in the field.

“Softball was probably one of the main things that got me interested in helping athletes and (studying kinesiology),” she said.

Castillo credited her coaches throughout high school (Victor Contreras and staff at OCHS) and college (RC’s Stefani Nomura and staff) with preparing her for the next level.

“It’s been hard work, and was a little nerve-racking, but I grew a lot here improving my game,” she said.

Jon Earnest
Reporter