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Rasmussen has a no-hitter

By Olivia Kloster
On March 26, 2021

Photo by Matthew Hicks

A no-hitter, while not impossible, is something that most pitchers dream about but very few are able to accomplish. A no-hitter in softball or baseball is when a pitcher allows no batters to record a hit during the duration of the game. Casson Rasmussen has been able to do it twice within her time in a Braves uniform.  


In the short season of 2020, the Ottawa junior appeared in 10 games, pitched in 57.1 innings and finished the season with a record of 7-3, ending the season in March with a 2.93 ERA. She also threw the program's sixth no-hitter in program history on March 7 against Oklahoma Panhandle State University. 


In 2021, she has pitched in five games and has an ERA of 1.06 thus far. 


“First, I think her preparation is very good, which gives her a lot of confidence going into games,” Braves head coach Jay Kahnt says. 


“This starts with her bullpens leading up to games. Second, the comfort level that a pitcher has with her catcher is very important. Third, her defense has been very good in her two no-hitters. Your defense has to make a couple of great plays typically in games that involve no-hitters.” 


Kahnt has only been able to witness two no-hitters as well as a perfect game within his 20 seasons at Ottawa. He believes the key to excel at pitching starts at practice. 


“I think this credit goes to coach (Samantha) Shaffer and the pitching staff. Coach has them working on different parts of pitching during the week. They spend a good amount of time fixing any pitch that isn’t working properly. They work on sequences and game-like situations during bullpens. There is great attention to detail in bullpens that allows them to take that to the mound on game days,” he says. 


On March 1, Rasmussen did not think the day got off to a good start. 


“Before the game, my pitches were not working,” she says. “The first inning was actually pretty rough: I walked the first batter with four straight balls and then pitched two more balls to the next batter. After we got out of that inning, coach Shaffer sent me back to the bullpen to go fix it. But after that, my pitches started to spin and move a lot more than before. I didn't even realize that I was throwing a no-hitter until the 5th inning of the game.”


There is no doubt that Rasmussen has a bright future for the Braves, seeing she is only a junior. While dominating on the mound, she gives credit where credit is due. 


“The no-hitter is as big of an accomplishment for my defense as well. I definitely would not be able to complete it without the defense behind me. But the goal for every game is to not have the other team get a single hit, so every game my goal is to not have someone touch first base. Knowing my defense has my back makes it way easier to pitch. This team is a lot of fun and is something special,” she says.


She says the relationship with her freshmen catcher, Justyse Rodriguez, is key to her pitching success. 


“My catcher calls the pitches. She knows what I like to throw in different counts and in different situations. Justyse and I have an amazing connection on the field and off the field, and I could not be more happy that she is the one behind the plate,” she says. 


Rasmussen, along with the program's other talented pitchers, hope to continue this great stride and take advantage of every opportunity they are on the mound. 


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