Though the past week may not have resulted in the most desirable final scores for the women’s softball team, pitcher Katie Orona ’18 continued to impress. The sensational first-year has been pitching virtually lights out all season long with a 1.97 ERA and averaging 7.47 strikeouts per game. In seven starts, Orona has thrown seven complete games and compiled a 4-3 record, with her three losses each coming down to one run.
Last week, she pitched a total of 19.2 innings, including a phenomenal performance against Princeton, in which she allowed just one run on four hits and four strikeouts. Orono’s performances over the course of the last week earned her Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Week — for the second time — and Corvias ECAC Rookie of the Week honors.
Due to her spectacular performance on the field, Orona has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.
Herald: How long have you played softball and what got you into it?
Orona: I played T-ball when I was really young for two years. Then I stopped until sixth grade. I started taking it seriously probably going into freshman year of high school. My whole family is a really big baseball family. So it was kind of understood that I was going to play softball at some point.
How does it feel to be named Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Week for the second time this season?
I think it’s very rewarding to know that I’m representing the team well. It is a reflection of all the work the team has put in as a whole, and I guess I am happy to be the person who gets recognition for it.
What typically goes through your mind when you are on the mound?
I’m just trying to do my job and I try to get ground balls. I try for something my defense can work with, I guess. My coach always tells me to challenge every batter and to make sure that if they do get a hit or get on base, that they earned it. That’s a big goal.
What is your favorite pitch to throw?
Probably a change-up. I’d say it’s one of my better pitches.
Do you have any pre-pitch or pregame rituals?
My catcher and I drink sweet tea before every game and it seems to be good luck so far, so we’ll keep up with that.
What is your relationship like with your catcher?
I love Julia Schoenewald ’17, she’s one of my favorites. She’s by far the best catcher that I’ve ever had. She’s really helped me with my mental game. We’ve really gotten to know each other, both personally and on field, which helps a lot when we’re playing. She knows when to calm me down, and I really do rely on her a lot in game.
If you could play any other position, what would it be?
Well I’m left-handed so I’m really limited in what I can do. I don’t know, probably outfield. I always wish I were faster, so probably that.
What about any other sport?
Probably basketball. When I was younger, my dad always wanted me to play basketball, but I wasn’t exactly skilled at it.
— This interview has been edited for clarity and length