‘Dream’ catcher continues legacy sibling left behind

She’s touted as a speedy, laser-throwing catcher with homerun hitting power. She stole 39 bases and hit for a remarkable .589 batting average while guiding her softball team to a 27-6 record.

What’s even more amazing is that this was after last season: when she was still in high school.

Ruby Nugent, 19, is an occupational therapy freshman from Lake Wales and is a star on the 2002 Rattlerette softball team.

Considering the fact that Nugent leads the Rattlerettes in nine different offensive categories, her presence has definitely been felt throughout the season.

“She’s a coach’s dream,” said Head Coach Veronica Wiggins.

Wiggins didn’t have to try too hard to bring this dream player to FAMU. Nugent’s sister, Tonya Minick, is former Rattlerette softball standout.

Minick was voted first team All-Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference and lead the 2001 Rattlerettes in seven different offensive categories.

“I would come to watch my sister play here, and what I saw was exactly what I wanted,” said Nugent. “I wanted to come here and play and get the team back like it was.”

The season statistics show Nugent is picking up just where her older sister left off. However, Minick still plays a big part in supporting her younger sibling.

“She’s there all the time, at each game,” said Nugent. “If there’s ever any problems, I have an advantage because she’s already been through it.”

Just as Tonya has had an influence on Ruby, so too has Ruby had an impact on the softball team.

“She’s an energizer,” Wiggins said. “She gives 110 percent all the time.”

“Ruby is aggressive, talented, strong-willed, and a great leader,” said FAMU pitcher Tenyse Tasby.

“You can tell she really loves the game.”

Ruby also loves her position as catcher despite first experimenting with the position only a few years ago.

“In high school, my coach told me I could be a good catcher,” said Nugent. “I had never thought about it because I was a shortstop.”

Once she became comfortable with the position, Nugent was hooked. She attributes her affinity for catching to the fact that it allows her to be in every single play of the game.

“Everybody sees me, it’s easier to be a leader and set an example for everybody else,” Nugent added.

“She’ll play pretty much anywhere, but I recruited her as a catcher because she’s a die-hard,” commented Coach Wiggins. “She doesn’t give up, she’ll fight until the end.”

“We connect well and work well together,” said Tasby. “We’re a pitcher/ catcher duo.”

Nugent seems to work well both on and off the softball field. One would be hard pressed to find a person who would say otherwise.