Perfect Pitch

Posted by cservaes on June 19, 2012 in Athletics, "Current Students", "Lady Braves", "Perfect Game", "School of Education", Softball, "The College" One batter at a time. One strike at a time. One out at a time. That’s how Ashley Renaldi pitched Ottawa University’s first-ever perfect softball game in April. “I didn’t really know I was having a perfect game until the last couple of innings,” says Renaldi, who is in her senior season as a Lady Brave. “I tried to keep calm and not over think it and blow it.” The Lady Braves defeated Bethel College during the perfect game, winning 8-0. “To witness something as rare as a perfect game is something I won’t forget,” says Head Softball Coach Jay Kahnt. “It makes it even more special to coach the one that threw it.” Renaldi, an elementary education major, faced 15 batters, threw 51 pitches, struck out three and did not allow a hit or a walk. She was named a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week for her performance on the mound. “I think most of the team had an idea she had a perfect game going, but no one said a word about it as the game was going,” says Kahnt. “No one wanted to jinx it.” Throughout the course of the game, Renaldi said there were moments when she thought she might blow it. She allowed a batter three balls, someone hit a deep drive to outfield. But her teammates never backed down. The final batter of the game proved to be the most nerve-racking for Renaldi. “She hit pretty hard to the outfield,” says Renaldi. “Off the bat, it sounded like it was going to be a pretty good hit, but it ended up dying in the wind.” The hit was caught and the game was over. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” says Renaldi, who is from El Cajon, California. “I was able to do it because of them.” Renaldi says her career as a Lady Brave has been incredibly memorable, but the perfect game definitely ranks at the top. “I would say we have had a lot of memorable games since I have been here,” she said. “But I wouldn’t have asked for this to happen during any other season.” Scheduled to complete her degree in the fall, the spring season was Renaldi’s last as a Lady Brave.