With over 800 collegiate strikeouts and an earned run average of around 1.00, junior pitcher Randi Rupp refuses to feel any pressure while on the mound.
When pitching, Rupp tries to have a clear mind, focus on each pitch and let everything fall into place.
“I don’t feel like I am under pressure at all,” Rupp said. “I try not to think too much out there. I just focus and go right at them by making quality pitches.”
Rupp knows she is in full control of the ball and the pace of the game.
“I know I have the ball every pitch of the game,” Rupp said. “I try not to make the game bigger than it really is.”
Rupp’s favorite part of the game is when the team is in a tough situation. She would rather play with bases loaded than not having anyone on base with no outs.
“(Tough situations) make the game fun and keeps everyone on their toes,” Rupp said. “The situations are a little more intense and that is what the game is all about.”
The Mont Belvieu native’s performance during intense situations was shown when she placed the ball in the perfect spot to send No. 12 Baylor down with a loss.
At one point in the game, there were runners on second and third base with one out. Rupp struckout the next two batters to end the Baylor scoring threat.
“The type of mindset I had that night was that ‘we got this’ and that ‘we can get out of this situation,’” Rupp said. “I just took one pitch at a time and just rolled with it. We just had fun with it.”
Rupp has not always been very keen of those types of situations. She realized she grew into a better pitcher and can now do anything.
“I have definitely grown a lot since freshman year,” Rupp said. “I was in the intense situations quite often and I don’t know if I got out of most of them. Now, I have learned and grown a lot as a pitcher. I know now that defensively, we can get out of them.”
Other than the fans believing in the team’s work on the field, Rupp is her defense’s biggest fan. She believes in herself as a pitcher, and also in her teammates. In turn, they do the same for her.
“The biggest thing is to believe in myself and my teammates,” Rupp said. “For me to believe in my teammates, they will most likely do the same for me. To have a defense that believes in you and your pitches is really important because I am the one who has the ball most of the time as a pitcher.”
If Rupp could describe her play on the mound, she would say it is big, confident and composed.
“I think I would choose the words big, confident and composed to describe my work in the circle,” Rupp said. “It is vital for me to just stay big out there and stay confident. I always try to stay composed when pitching.”
Rupp’s confidence and ability to handle the pressures of being a pitcher has earned her multiple accolades at Texas State.
Rupp has received the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week award more than five times. In addition, she earned the title of ESPNW National Player of the Week. She has also found herself in the top five of the Texas State’s softball most career strikeouts list.
“That is just something that comes with the game,” Rupp said. “Personally, I don’t try and go out there to strike people out. It is just part of the game. If you would have told me I would play this way freshman year, I would have called you crazy.”