Well, not all the time at least. Murray State ace and Olentangy Orange graduate Mason Robinson was pretty perfect toward the tail end of her senior season, punctuating a record-breaking career with a stellar stretch — one that included a pair of perfect games.
She tossed her first, and the first in Murray State history, on April 23 — Senior Day against Belmont. Eighteen up and 18 down. Fifteen of the outs came on the ground, two were flyouts and the other a strikeout.
“Throwing a perfect game was so crazy … there were so many emotions,” Robinson said. “It was something I’d never done, but always wanted to do in my career.
“You kind of know what’s going on, and so does everyone else, but the unwritten rule is to not say anything to jinx it. As soon as the game was over, my coach came over and hugged me … and my team was so excited behind me. It was one thing I will never forget.”
Even if someone did say something, there’s little chance it would’ve fazed the Racer ace.
“Something that made Mason capable of what she accomplished at Murray State was she rarely made the game bigger than it needed to be,” MSU softball coach Kara Amundson said. “It was a rare sight to not see her smiling, even in tight situations. That’s how she carries herself in general. She is a capable young woman that I have had the pleasure of watching grow over the last four years, not only as an athlete, but even more importantly as a person.”
Her second perfecto came less than a week later against host Eastern Illinois. She struck out seven in that one.
“Throwing another perfect game that same week was just icing on the cake,” Robinson said. “I’ve worked so hard over the last 18 years of playing softball, and within two weeks I’d thrown two perfect games, broken the (MSU) all-time wins record (68), single-season wins record (23) and had my Senior Day. So, seeing my hard work pay off and ending my career on a high note was more than I could’ve ever imagined.”
She’s also the program’s all-time leader in shutouts (18), including seven this season, and career ERA (2.43).
Robinson’s efforts earned her a spot on the 2017 National Fastpitch Association All-Mideast Region teams. She was a second-team selection. She was also the OVC Pitcher of the Week three different times this spring.
“She had an absolutely incredible career here at Murray,” Amundson said. “In coaching, you really don’t always know what you’re going to get out of your players when they come in as freshmen … and Mason was no different. But she hit the ground running her freshman year in the circle and really never looked back. Mason’s strength in the circle is her drop curve, a pitch that sincerely had some of the best movement we’ve seen from a pitcher. I will never forget, we were playing Georgia her sophomore year and their pitching coach came up to me after the game and said of Mason, ‘that will be the best drop ball we see all year.’”
Robinson said the physical side of the game was only part of what made her successful, though.
“Although pitching fundamentals were important, I credit my mentality and confidence on the mound to my success in college,” she said. “My coach was super helpful and always used an hour a week for ‘mental conditioning’ that helped our team and individual mental toughness.”
Robinson, who has earned a spot on the Dean’s List in seven of her eight semesters, will be finishing her degree this fall with a semester of student teaching before pursuing a career in teaching.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.