Elaine Nescio pitched No. 2 Archbishop Spalding to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship. The junior windmiller went 15-1 in leading the Cavaliers (17-1) to their first title in two years.
A member of the Spalding varsity as a freshman, Nescio played second base when the team last won the A Conference in 2006. Nescio carries a 3.5 grade point average, and math is her favorite subject. She is hoping to pitch in college and ultimately work for the government, possibly the National Security Agency.
She ran cross country and track at Spalding but had a stress fracture in her spine last summer that prevented her from running this year. Nescio instead served as the cross country and track team's manager.
What will you remember about this year's title-game win over Institute of Notre Dame?
I remember we weren't nervous before the game. We were excited for the game, but it was just like any other game. No one was freaking out about it or had the jitters. Everyone was ready, wanted to win and was extremely focused, and we had a very good vibe about the game.
Were you aware that you had a no-hitter going late in the championship game?
I had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning, but I don't really try to pay attention to what my stats are during the game. As soon as you start thinking, "Oh, I have a no-hitter going," they're going to get a hit because it's happened before. I try not to think about it, but I knew going into the seventh inning because a couple people had mentioned it. I just went out in the seventh inning and she got a good hit and beat it out. I'd rather have that than a little dinker hit.
How tough was your team's schedule this year?
I think it was pretty tough. We didn't get to play Chesapeake, but we got to play Broadneck a couple times [they split], and we played Huntingtown and they were second or third in the [Washington] Post all year long. And we played C. Milton Wright. The majority of the teams we played were ranked in the top 10 throughout the whole season. I think it was a fairly tough season. None of the opponents were easy opponents.
When did you start windmill pitching?
When I was 5, and when I got to 7 I started going to pitching clinics with [pitching instructor] Paul Tewey. When I first saw a [windmill pitcher] when I was 5, I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Me and Lauren Gibson [of Chesapeake] used to pitch at our older sisters' tournaments when we were 5 and just kept going with it.
What is in your pitching repertoire?
My main two pitches are my screwball and changeup, and I also have a curveball and a screw-rise, which is my chin music pitch. It's one of my favorite pitches to throw because the batters hate it. It backs them off the plate. And I also have a dropball that I use sparingly and my fastball. I probably throw one fastball a game. The last five or six games of the high school season, I didn't throw any.
How fast are your pitches?
I was clocked down in Florida this summer and my fastball was clocked at 63-64 mph, but I don't throw very many fastballs, so all of my other pitches are 61-62 right now.
What colleges interest you?
I'm not too sure what I want to do yet. I'm kind of picking and choosing and seeing what comes my way. I want to go to a school that I'm going to like. If, God forbid, something were to happen, I would still want to be there if I couldn't play anymore. My dad always tells me you're going to college to get an education and playing is a bonus. I am looking at George Washington University, Boston College and a couple others still on my radar, and I would consider going out of state because I love to travel.
Chesapeake's Lauren Gibson and Broadneck's Kourtney Salvarola have had a lot of success pitching in high school but are going to be infielders in college. What about you?
I'm going to pitch in college. I already know that pretty much for a fact unless something were to happen. I don't mind playing other positions. I play second base for my summer team when I'm not pitching, but I love being on the mound. I love being in control and I like being able to carry the team and the team looking to me if they're having a bad day and can't hit.
Who will you pitch for this summer?
I play for the Severna Park Green Hornets Gold with [coach] Thad Tohl and his 18-and-under team, and it's my seventh or eighth year with him. We play a very competitive schedule, and I don't have a weekend off until the second weekend of August. It's a very demanding schedule, but it's worth it. Most of our team is made up of All-County players from around the county.
What are some of this year's travel sites?
We're trying to go to ASA [Amateur Softball Association] Gold Nationals, which is the most competitive nationals in the country. It's in Oklahoma City this year. And we're going to the Colorado Fireworks, which is the biggest recruiting tournament in the nation, and this will be our fourth or fifth year out there. I'm excited; can't wait.
What do you like to do when you are not playing softball?
That's a very odd occurrence. I love the beach. My neighborhood is on the water in Pasadena near Chesapeake High School on the Magothy River. I like to go out to downtown Annapolis, and I have a job as a part-time hostess.
What are your future goals career-wise?
If I don't take a government job, I would love to be a math teacher and coach softball. I've had a lot of teachers that have impacted my life, and I think it would be neat to impact someone else's life in that kind of way.