April 22, 2003

Rivera Recaps Historic Outing

April 22, 2003

As told by Roni Rivera...

After the third inning, we had gone out three times and I was thinking, 'well, nobody's gotten on base,' so I asked just to make sure and then I didn't think about it anymore. Jaime was throwing pretty well, right from the get-go. We had faced San Diego the day before, so we had learned a lot about their batters from that. I knew after three innings something was going on.

The key is, you can't say anything. After the fourth inning, we shut them down; they weren't even making remote contact. 'OK. Things are good,' I thought. Then I knew. And that's right when Tracie Hall went down in a collision at first base. We were all thinking, 'Oh, what are we going to do if Tracie can't play?' I mean, she went down hard. At first I wasn't paying attention and I actually offered to play first, because I had done it before. Then I was like, (gasp), 'No I can't, I can't, I can't go play first base! I have stay catching!' Teammates were asking me why, and I'm trying to be cool... 'Oh, nothing.' Jennifer Ponzo kept pushing, asking why I have to catch. I just told her For the Love of the Game. In that movie, the character throws a perfect game, so I just kept repeating that title slowly, 'For the Love of the Game.' She just looked at me and then you could see it in her eyes when she realized it.

We went out for the fifth. There was one tense moment when the throw was close at first. She was out, thank goodness. That gave me a little scare. In the sixth, we almost hit this one girl with an inside rise ball. Whew. We ended up striking the girl out and then everybody pretty much knew. I knew Jaime knew, but we just couldn't say anything.

Jaime Forman-Lau struck out 14 batters in her first perfect game.


In the seventh inning, we got one out. The second batter was left-handed and Jaime doesn't like throwing to left-handed batters. We went ball one, ball two, ball three... and I was thinking, 'ARE YOU KIDDING ME JAIME! Do you realize you're right there for a perfect game?' It's hard for a right-hander to come in to left-handed batters, but it's her best pitch, so I thought, 'we're coming in,' and I called curve. Strike one. So I called her in again and got strike two. We went a third one again to get her out and then got the last out.

I spiked the ball down, which is my favorite thing to do, and then we basically all just clobbered her. It was good. Everybody knew, and we could finally say something. We were all asking each other, 'Did you know? Yeah I knew. When did you figure it out?'

I have the biggest mouth on the planet. It was so hard keeping it in during the game. I was pacing. I knew she knew, because she kept checking the charts, and we kept asking what inning it was... but you cannot say anything. It was a relief when the game was finally over.

I had never even caught a no-hitter before, so that was by far, one of the best catching experiences I have ever had. We call our own game, so it's just us two working on it every pitch, figuring things out. It was amazing.