- Scott Barboza, ESPN Staff Writer
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MALDEN, Mass. -- Two pitchers walk into a cafeteria. One asks the other, “So what did you do for vacation week?”
The other one replies, “Threw a no-hitter. How about you?”
The first one says, “Yeah, me too.”
That beginning to a potential lame joke was reality on Monday as Malden softball pitcher Kiara Amos and baseball hurler Chucky Gibson returned to practice after they both recorded no-hitters on Thursday against Greater Boston League rival Somerville.
Amos struck out 13 while registering her fifth career no-no while Gibson fanned 12 in a 6-0 shutout of the Highlanders.
We caught up with both of the Golden Tornadoes on Monday to take a look back at their performances:
Q: Ridiculous question, but does the feeling of throwing a no-hitter ever get old?
A: “When I’m throwing, I’m aware of it, but I’m trying not to show that I’m not nervous because I do [get nervous]. I just need to make sure that my pitches are working, making sure that they’re breaking, that there’s movement. I’m just making sure my mechanics are alright.”
Q: What was working particularly well for you the other day?
A: “A lot of people were going for my rise ball, so I was throwing that a lot. It’s usually my changeup, but since they were going after the rise, I went to that.”
Q: You also had a pretty epic battle with Burlington earlier this season (3-2 Malden win in 9 innings). Walk us through that one.
A: “Yeah, it was crazy. We were both scoreless after seven innings, but then we both scored in each half inning after that going into extra innings. I felt like we knew what we needed to do. That last couple of years, we’ve struggled with them. We came together and we did what we needed to do at the plate and defensively to win.”
Q: Let’s talk a little about this team. Did this team come into this season with particularly high expectations for yourself?
A: “Coming in, we only lost three players from last year, so we still feel like a team because we’re pretty much all back, so we have that team aspect. I feel like because we’ve gotten so far the last three years, just winning the GBL and being in the tournament, we’ve We’ve been working hard in the offseason, coming in here every Thursday.
Q: Who of your teammates has stood out to you so far this season?
A: “Emily Hoffman, our catcher, she’s so good. She’s on my Concord Raiders team, too. I think she’s going to Endicott next year and she actually drove in the winning run in the Burlington game. Just her being behind the plate makes me more comfortable up there.”
Q: Were you paying any attention to the fact that you hadn’t given up a hit?
A: “I actually knew the whole time. I had it in my head. The guys in the field, they weren’t talking to me though. They knew what was going on, too. It was a huge moment.”
Q: What happened when you got the last out?
A: “I got mobbed by my teammates. Somebody pulled my hat down on my head. Just a big pile.”
Q: What pitch was working for you?
A: “Usually, I have fastball, curve, change. But I have a fork ball, too, and it usually doesn’t work, but it was working pretty good, so that helped me out a lot.”
Q: Tell us a little about where the team is at right now.
A: “We’re 5-2 right now, so we’re halfway to the state tourney. We’re pretty excited about that. We’ve gone through a lot already, we’ve lot a couple of kids and had some get hurt already, so we’ve been pulling through the whole time. I wasn’t even supposed to start this year, but me and Nick Powers, the second man in the rotation, he’s been throwing well, too. Our goal coming in was to make the tournament, as always, but now, we’d like to win 15 games this season and see where it goes from there.”
6dMike Scandura, Special to ESPNBoston.com
11dBrendan C. Hall
12dBrendan C. Hall
13dMike Scandura, Special to ESPNBoston.com
14dBrendan C. Hall