With piercing eyes stapled to the glove targeted straight ahead, a look of determination is intensely painted across her face. As her glove blocks the FAMU logo on her chest, her opponent nervously anticipates the jerky delivery.
Within an instant, her arm cocks and hurls the red-stitched ball toward the challenger who swings over it for the third time. As the umpire violently yells, “Strike three,” FAMU starting pitcher Tenyse Tasby confidently claims another strikeout victim and adds to her long list of Rattlerette honors.
Being named 2001 MEAC Championship MVP, striking out 147 batters in a single season and pitching a no-hitter against South Carolina State, all prove that Tasby, 22, has piled impressive numbers over her four-year Rattlerette career.
“She’s been with us for four years,” said Head Coach Veronica Wiggins. “She is my number one pitcher.”
“I pretty much eat, live and sleep softball,” said Tasby.
As a graphic design student-athlete from Houston, Tasby balances college with her passion for softball. However, she admits that her life had revolved around softball prior to FAMU.
“I started when I was eight years old,” said Tasby. “Then I started pitching at age ten.”
Tasby says she began pitching just for fun, but made it into a specialty when she realized how much she loved it.
“I really enjoyed it, and have stuck with it for a long time,” Tasby added.
As one of three children–one brother and one sister–Tasby’s early influences came from an older sister who she often attempted to emulate.
“I always wanted to do anything my sister did,” commented Tasby.
Softball and a loving family guided her to high school. She met with the passing of her father during sophomore year. Yet, made it through the hardship.
“I’ve still got my dad in spirit,” Tasby said.
The family atmosphere at FAMU, its softball and Homecoming were the main reasons that pulled Tasby from Texas.
“We all get along,” Tasby added. “We work like one big family on and off the field.”
Though freshmen and sophomore seasons were spent as a relief pitcher, Tasby was thrust into a leadership role, especially this season with eleven new additions to the team.
“It’s good to know they rely on me in hard times and tough situations,” said Tasby. “Being a senior on a young team, I know I have to step up.”
“She steps up when she needs to be a leader,” Wiggins said.
“She’s always real encouraging to me,” said third baseman Monique Mattingly. “If I’m doing something wrong, she tells me in a positive way.”
Tasby hopes her leadership will help the team continue its progress as a collective unit.
“It’s been a roller coaster ride this season,” Tasby commented. “Now we are more mature and hopefully we’ll be up for the rest of the season.”
Tasby and the Rattlerettes have their sights on winning in the post season.
“This year, she set a goal and is very focused,” Wiggins added.
Though her name will be repeated numerous times in every FAMU softball record book, there’s no doubt Tasby’s hard throwing, stellar pitching and fun-loving attitude will be missed when the season ends.
“I hate to see her go,” Wiggins remarked.