Throughout the 2023 season, Cal Poly Softball turned to freshman pitcher Sophia Ramuno in the circle, whether to start a game or come out of the bullpen.
When the year came to a close, Ramuno proved herself as one of the best young players in the conference, earning a Big West honorable mention and a spot on the All-Freshman Team.
The right-hander, who ended with a 12-13 record, logged a 2.21 ERA in conference play and struck out 142 batters in 141 ⅓ innings pitched.
While the numbers are one side of the story, Ramuno has shown her value to the team in a variety of ways, according to pitching coach Brie Galicinao.
“[Ramuno] has had some big moments, whether it is starting or coming in,” Galicinao said. “She is that pitcher that is in the circle that is aimed and sometimes she throws flat gas, and she gets everyone pumped up.”
The ability to elevate teammates is usually a trait possessed by veterans, but Ramuno seems to have picked it up as a freshman. On top of this, she has separated herself from other arms in the conference thanks to her change of velocity and wide pitch selection.
“My drop curve has always been my bread and butter pitch, and it is still a big part of my pitching arsenal,” Ramuno said.
Ramuno used that arsenal to provide plenty of big moments for the Mustangs this season, including a 10-strikeout game against UC Riverside and two nine-strikeout appearances in her final three games of the year.
Head Coach Jenny Condon viewed Ramuno as a vital piece to the team’s success all season long, saying that “when she’s in the circle, we always have a chance to win.”
“[Ramuno] is a competitor, she wants the ball in her hands every game, every pitch if she could,” Condon said. “She throws differently than the other pitchers, the pitching staff compliments each other.”
Although Cal Poly Softball ended the season with a 19-23 record, the team is graduating only one player, highlighting the team’s young and cohesive core.
“I love it here. I love my teammates — we have such a cohesive bond,” Ramuno said. “I’ve never been on a team like this. We get along so well and play so well and the academics here are unmatched.”
Ramuno will look to carry over her freshman-year success and establish herself as one of the top arms in the Big West in the coming years.