When Delilah Pacheco first came to the University of Utah softball team, the last thing people would have guessed was that her favorite singer is Taylor Swift. According to Pacheco, it was a surprise to many people because Swift’s style of music doesn’t fit her personality.
“Taylor is fun, goofy and has always been the same,” Pacheco said. “I’ve never been to a concert of hers, but it is on my bucket list. My favorite song of hers is a toss-up between 22 and Bad Blood.”
This isn’t the only surprise Pacheco brought to the table when she came to college. Along with playing softball in high school, Pacheco dabbled in other areas such as volleyball, basketball and track. While she enjoyed playing multiple sports, Pacheco ultimately chose softball.
“My freshman year [of college], my dad told me that I needed to pick one sport to be serious about,” Pacheco said. “I had to think about the one that I wanted to pursue in college and play for my school. I was in love with competitiveness, the fact that I was surrounded by different kinds of girls and being able to click with them. It was a great decision.”
Although Pacheco is in her senior year of college at Utah, this wasn’t where she began her college career. Starting at Blinn College, Pacheco made a name for herself as she was named a NFCA and NJCAA All-American, and she was awarded the Marucci Elite Hitter Award in her final season with the Buccaneers.
In the two seasons she was at Blinn, Pacheco had a batting percentage of .391, 69 stolen bases, a .438 on-base percentage and a .433 slugging percentage. With this record, Pacheco became a two-time First Team All-Conference and All-Region choice. She was named the Region XIV Tournament MVP and she led her conference in stolen bases.
No matter the time she spent with the Buccaneers, it didn’t stop Pacheco from falling in love with Utah. Over the summer of 2015, Pacheco visited the campus with future teammate senior Kay Kay Fronda. During their time together, the two become fast friends and Pacheco clicked with the coaches and other Ute players. From that moment on, Pacheco knew she was going to come to Utah.
“Delilah is fun,” said head coach Amy Hogue. “We didn’t get to see her play before we recruited her, which is very rare, so she was a pleasant surprise for us to say the least. We had heard great things, we had read great things, talked to people who knew her and kind of took a shot in the dark. We feel really blessed that we have been able to have her.”
Since her transfer, Pacheco has had nothing but fun with the team, she has made friends with people she never thought she would be friends with, and in her final season as a Ute, Hogue feels Pacheco has finally started to find her footing.
“Delilah is settling in the late off role for us, which is a huge role for a team of our caliber and she has the guts to do it,” Hogue said. “It is a real gutsy spot, and she is someone who is willing to see a lot of pitches and go deep in count. She [is] learning how to battle, and it’s helping us win the games. It has been fun to see her settle in that role this year.”
Fortunately for Pacheco, her life in softball won’t end after she graduates. She plans to continue on in the sport, but it won’t be as an athlete.
“I want to coach a high school team,” Pacheco said. “That’s where I want to start. So when I go home, I’m going to get my teaching certificate and apply for a position at my old high school.”