Pitcher rises to top of childhood love

Monique Mattingly is a softball pitcher and senior physical education student from Gainesville.

Unknown to many, Mattingly was the MEAC pitcher of the week twice this season.

With four straight no hitters during the last four softball games of the season, she hasn’t let her opponents get one swing at bat.

Growing up with her parents and older sister in New Orleans, Mattingly was introduced to the game at age 10. Growing to love the game, she approached the mound as pitcher a year later.

“I remember having a bad game, but I loved the fact that I was pitching,” Mattingly said.

Nonetheless, Mattingly strongly believes that her immediate family are her biggest fans.

“My family was at all of my games,” she said.

Equipped with a strong family fan base, Monique’s parents are extremely active in her sports career, never missing a game, with the exception of a few college games.

“Both of us are very active in her life, and I know she always liked to have us there, it gives her confidence,” said Gary Mattingly, Monique’s father.

Monique was selected to play with the American Softball Association, a summer travel league, for five summers. Her parents helped in any way that they could.

“Even though you had to be selected to be on the team, you still had to pay to play, something my parents had no problem with. They even paid for private pitching lessons for me to help improve my game,” Monique said.

She also said that moving to a new location for high school helped give her a good start.

“It was good for me because the move gave me a chance to experience different pitching styles and different coaches in different areas,” she said. “I made All-County and was team MVP my junior year. I also made All-County my senior year and won a bunch of all tournament team awards.”

Though she never thought about quitting softball, at times Monique felt overwhelmed.

“I loved it too much to quit,” she said. “But I missed out on a lot of family stuff, especially in high school.”

Though her parents wanted her to become the best player she could, they missed her on family outings.

“She has had to miss important outings and we have missed her. But she would always call. She would let us know she was there in spirit,” said her mother, Rosalyn Mattingly.

Although Monique was a distinguished athlete in high school, being honored did not change her outlook on her athletic talent.

“When I got them in high school it was a honor, but I didn’t take them as seriously as I do now,” Mattingly said.

Monique said FAMU allowed her to blossom into the intimidating pitcher that she is today.

“She was to work on maintaining her composure and confidence on the mound, but she has improved this season. Monique is a natural leader. The team respects and looks up to her,” said Amber Alford, assistant softball coach.

Alford also has high hopes for Monique when the team advances to the MEAC tournament in April.

Monique said that she has not had the time for anything off the field, but plans on changing that after season.

She is graduating next fall, but she wants to continue to keep softball in her life.

“I will most likely play in different leagues and intramural teams.”

Contact Tenicka Mmorning at thefamuansports@hotmail.com.