Aug 24, 2019

Friendly Competition

Haley Perkins
Juan Villa / The Collegian

Fresno State infielders Haley Gilleland and Haley Perkins have been engaging in friendly competition since they met eight years ago while playing on travel teams.

Both continue to use their competitive edge today as they play the field and hit back-to-back at the top of the batting order.

“I always feel like if she gets a hit then I have gotta get a hit,” Perkins said.

This could be the case.

As of Tuesday, Gilleland has a 12-point lead over Perkins in batting average.

Gilleland is batting .414, while Perkins has a mark of .402. This is good enough for third and fourth, respectively, in the conference.

They played together in high school at Clovis West where they won Tri-River Athletic Conference MVP awards and Central Section championships.

Haley Gilleland
Juan Villa / The Collegian

Freshman Gilleland said that Perkins has always motivated her to play harder and that she thinks they work well together on the field.

“Since I was young, I have always thought that I have got to get better than her,” Gilleland said.

When Gill eland joined the Fresno State team, she took over the shortstop spot that Perkins had played for the past two seasons.

Perkins, who now plays third base, said that this season is her favorite out of the three seasons she has played.

“This season is the most fun I’ve had ever because of the team camaraderie,” Perkins said.

Gilleland said that this season’s most memorable game was against Eastern Michigan where the Bulldogs won 11-0.

“During that game, we really got our one-two punch rolling,” Gilleland said.

That one-two punch ranks second and third in the conference in hits.

Perkins has 51 hits, while Gilleland is three behind her with 48.

Prior to joining the Bulldogs, Perkins was courted by a host of teams, including Penn State, Baylor, Maryland and Purdue. She said she always knew she was a Bulldog at heart.

Perkins said that she remembers coming to games when she was younger and thought that the opportunity to play for coach Margie Wright was just too good to pass up.

“I love our stadium and playing at home,” Perkins said.

She also knew that she couldn’t live far from her family, especially her older brother who has a learning disability.

“I have always looked out for my brother,” Perkins said. “It would be even harder to leave him than it would be leaving my parents.”

Gilleland also chose to stay close to home so she could be close to her family. She said that she has been enjoying her first year on the team and playing for Wright.

Upon graduation, Perkins, a kinesiology major with an emphasis in sports psychology, said that even though she isn’t sure what she will do after graduation, she knows that she wants to pursue a career in sports.

Haley Perkins
High School
Lettered four years
2005 Tri-City Athletic Conference MVP
Helped win two Valley Championships
Four-time All-TRAC pick
Three-time All-Valley honors
Born Sept. 19, 1987
Admires her parents
Cousin Mallory Perkins is also on the team
Recruited by Penn State, Baylor, Maryland and Purdue

Haley Gilleland
High School
Lettered four years
First Team All-State selection
Helped win Valley Championship
TRAC player of the year
Clovis Independent Female Athlete of the Year
Born June 30, 1988
Roger Clemens is her favorite athlete
Admires her parents
Enjoys wakeboarding and tubing
Always wanted to be a Bulldog

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