Rogers makes Senior Night perfect

Published 9:54 pm Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nansemond River High School senior softball player Jessie Rogers picked the perfect night to shine her brightest on the mound.

During Tuesday’s Senior Night home game against conference opponent Denbigh High School, she helped lead her team to a 13-0 mercy rule-shortened win by pitching her first-ever perfect game.

Rogers

Rogers

Rogers reflected on the rare achievement in light of the fact that she does not plan on pursuing softball in college.

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“It was really cool, just the fact that it was Senior Night and just knowing that I don’t have a lot of (playing) time left,” Rogers said, also noting the presence of her whole family there supporting her.

Her father, Lady Warriors head coach Gabe Rogers said, “For it to happen to her on a Senior Night, it was special, it was just really special to see her do that.”

She pitched five innings before the mercy rule kicked in, accounting for six of the 15 outs by retiring batters.

“She just did a great job, she really just hit her spots and kept the ball in the zone,” Coach Rogers said.

She said she was not really paying attention to the fact that no one had gotten on base until the fourth inning when her father and assistant coach Dave Glover were talking about it.

Knowing what was on the line in the fifth inning, she said, “I was a little bit nervous, just because I knew it would be a big thing if it happened.”

Rogers has played softball for almost 13 years, and started out as a pitcher, before moving out of the position at the 14U level.

Entering 2014, Nansemond River lacked a back-up for sophomore starting pitcher Lauren Maddrey (14-1).

“We needed somebody that we could rely on,” Coach Rogers said, to ease the burden on Maddrey.

Coach Glover helped bring Jessie Rogers back to the mound.

“I really allowed Dave to kind of just take over the pitching,” Coach Rogers said. “So, he did a great job with her. This whole past season he really has instilled a lot of confidence in her.”

Because rain delays made the Lady Warriors’ post-spring break schedule so crowded, Rogers has seen a lot of playing time on the mound to relieve Maddrey.

Ranking her perfect game among her other softball accomplishments, Rogers said, “I’m not really a pitcher, so it wasn’t like a goal that I had in mind, but it’s definitely pretty high up on the list of them.”

She deflected credit on why she was able to have a perfect game to the defense, which accounted for nine outs on Tuesday. All season, she said her coaches have told her to throw strikes and her defense would take care of her.

“And I always believed that was true,” she said.

King’s Fork High School junior Sydney Wash pitched a perfect game against Denbigh last week.

Nansemond River (17-1, 9-0) hosts King’s Fork this evening.