With the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) championship fast approaching, we were thinking it was about time we checked in with Monica Abbott to see how the season was going. Then on Thursday (7/23), pitching against the Dallas Charge, Monica again earned one of the most elusive achievements in sports “the perfect game” and we thought there was no better time to speak to one of the sport’s best.
This wasn’t Monica’s first “perfect game” it was #7 in her career! That’s domination! But as you’ll read below, the seventh is just as exciting as the first, especially when it’s close to your birthday. Thanks for the chat, Monica, and happy birthday from everyone at Ringor!
R: In Thursday’s game against the Charge you threw your seventh career perfect game. There’s the superstition that you don’t acknowledge a no-hitter, or perfect game until after the final out. When you’re in the circle how do you block out the thought that you’re working on a no-hitter or perfect game? Does it even register?
M: No hitters are hard to get but a perfect game is even harder. They are so rare, and literally everything has to go right. Our team started scoring late in the game so I was getting pretty excited for their hits and not really thinking about pitching. I guess sometimes the less you think the better!!
R: Is there a point in a perfect game or no-hitter where you feel like you’re just owning it and all your pitches are exactly what you want them to be? Or does the final pitch feel the same as the beginning of the game?
M: On Thursday, when I was warming up for the game, I was thinking gosh it’s hot today, and I gotta pitch a lot better in the game if I want to win. So, when I went out there to pitch I was really just thinking about hitting my spots.
R: We all like to think that we always play our best, but when I’ve been on the field during a no-hitter, the way each fielder’s next level of defense (110%) kicks into gear is palpable. Can you sense that your team is stepping up their game to support your achievement?
M: Absolutely!! Our second baseman, Sammy Marshall made this amazing catch on a fly ball that got caught up in the wind. I could feel the energy and intensity from my teammates in a whole new way. It was incredible.
R: Seven perfect games is no joke! Have they lost their luster? Was the first OMG!!! and Thursday’s more Cool, thanks guys? Do any stand out as your favorite/most important personally?
M: Oh NO WAY!! They are so amazing!! On Thursday I felt shell shocked!! Everyone was jumping on me and going crazy and I was standing there like “wait a second” no one got on base?? I didn’t hit anyone??
R: Your birthday is Tuesday (Happy Birthday!!!). Are you thinking of Thursday’s perfect game as a little gift to yourself (from you and your team)?
M: Now that you mention it, yes. That is a great birthday gift!
R: We know how highly you value the real things in life like friends, family and experiences, but what’s something physical, maybe a guilty pleasure, that’s on your birthday wish list?
M: I was actually thinking about buying myself a new purse.
Song to help you get pumped before a game: Taylor Swift, Hozier
Game-day meal: Perfect Bars, and Coffee
Movie and/or Book: Angels in the Outfield, The Shack
Custom Ringor Spike Design: Way too tough but current top 2: Camo and Bandit logo.