By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports
It’s been an exciting few days for Ravenne Nasser.
The Methuen, Massachusetts native, who is a senior on the MIT softball team, recently became the first-ever Engineers to record back-to-back no hitters in the same day when she led the Engineers to a pair of wins this past Saturday against Clark University.
Nasser retired 17 batters in a span of 14 innings against the Cougars to bump her overall record to 8-3 in the circle.
Her impressive effort against Clark, as well as earlier in the week against Emerson College and Wheaton College resulted in her being named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Pitcher of the Week, along with the Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III National Pitcher of the Week, too.
The news of Nasser being tabbed the NFCA Division III Pitcher of the Week was announced this morning – she is the first MIT softball player to earn this special honor.
Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Nasser to discuss her historical outing from this past weekend, as well as what she and the team must do over the next few weeks to gain some momentum heading into the NEWMAC Tournament.
What does it mean to you to become the first member of the MIT softball program to record back-to-back no-hitters against the same team on the day?
It’s really an honor. There have been so many great pitchers and players to come through this program and to be even close to being among them is truly just something I never expected. I know I could never be in this position without all the people who have come before me, my teammates, and everyone who has supported me so this is really just a representation of all their work.
What was your mindset heading into this past Saturday’s doubleheader with Clark University?
I was just trying to come out strong for the rest of the team. I had a rough outing the day before and my team really picked me up so I just wanted to have their back and make their jobs a little easier on Saturday.
Did you think about each no-hitter as both games progressed? Did anyone mention it to you in the dugout?
I did think about it a bit in the first game but I was more focused on keeping people off the bases than how they had gotten on and then in the second game it didn’t even cross my mind. Also, no one mentioned it to me in either game so that definitely helped to keep it out of my mind.
It may sound cliche, but how hard is it to toss a no-hitter? What does a pitcher have to do to stay locked-in from one inning to the next?
It’s not easy. You have to stay focused on each pitch and move on from ones that didn’t go as well as you wanted them to. I’m lucky in that I have an awesome defense behind me that makes my job a lot easier and gives me a lot of confidence while I’m throwing.
When you finished game two with a second-straight no-hitter, what was the immediate reaction from your coach/teammates?
Honestly, not everyone realized it was two, myself included, but once we did they were all really excited for me. This team is full of amazing people who always support each other and celebrate each other’s successes so they were all really happy for me.
Your team has some important conference games looming in the distance, so what is the mindset/focus from both you and your teammates heading into this week’s games against Springfield College and Wellesley College?
We’re ready to go get them. We know they’re going to be tough games and that we have to come out strong to come away with (much needed) wins, but we’re really excited to play some really good competition.
From your perspective, what has been your team’s best outing of the season and how can you duplicate that performance over the next few weeks so you will have some momentum heading into the NEWMAC Tournament?
I would say the games against Coast Guard Academy were our best overall. We played them at the end of a long stretch of games and everyone adjusted well to everything they tried to do. Our defense, pitching and hitting over the two games were very solid and everyone on the team stepped up and contributed, both on the field and off. I think if we stick to playing our game and doing the small things right we will be able to execute and be successful for the rest of the regular season and into the postseason.
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