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Radnor pitcher Brooke Nicander is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week

The senior, in her third year of being the Red Raiders’ top hurler, has tied the school career record for district playoff wins with three (tied with Izzy Schaefer), and has rehabbed from ACL surgery last June after getting hurt in her district playoff win over Chichester. The Penn State-bound senior received second team All-Main Line softball honors last spring, and against Conestoga last week, she hurled a five-hitter and had four RBI’s. She also play soccer for Radnor and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Q: You threw a five-hitter in a win against Conestoga Friday. What was working for you particularly well on the mound?
A: Coach Schaefer wanted me to try to throw a strike as the first pitch, so that is what I tried to do with each batter I faced. I was working to hit all of my spots for each of my pitches, and for the most part, I was able to hit the spot I wanted.
 
Q: Can you tell us a little about the ACL injury, the resulting surgery, and the biggest challenges you faced in rehab?
A: I injured my knee sliding into second base during Chichester game last season. My knee hurt, but I rested for a bit and then went back out on the mound and felt pretty good for the rest of the game. In celebrating the win, I jumped up and heard a pop, I knew then that something bad happened. In June, I had ACL and meniscus surgery and went through nine months of physical therapy. Limiting my activity and waiting to play again was the biggest challenge.
 
Q: What part of your game are you working on the most currently?
A: Taking feedback from Coach Schaefer and trying to apply his recommendations is what I strive to do each game. I need to work on keeping my composure on the mound and to keep mentally focused every game, every inning, every batter, every pitch.
Q: What (in your opinion) has been the highlight of your Radnor softball career to date? Can you share that memory with us?
A: The highlight so far has been the playoff win against Nazareth during my sophomore year. We were down in the last inning, but hitters got on base and I got hit by a pitch, and it was worth it since we tied up the game and forced an eighth inning. We took the lead and then my teammates had some spot-on throws which led to an amazing tag-out at home plate. The entire team rallied and each and every player contributed to this exciting extra-inning win.
Q: As a pitcher, after facing a hitter a couple of times in a game, you probably have a better idea of what to throw her late in a game. Can you give us an example of how this has worked in your favor?
A: After each batter’s first at-bat, I usually get a sense as to what they like to hit: inside or outside; high or low, and make adjustments the next time I face them.
Q: Who have been your biggest softball mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you?
A: Izzy Schaefer was the starting varsity pitcher when I was a freshman. She was extremely generous with her time and was patient while trying to teach me some new pitches. Izzy has an incredible sense of calm and is completely composed on the mound. Her confidence and temperament inspire her teammates to play hard and she definitely knows how to spark team spirit by encouraging her teammates.
 
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: I wouldn’t recommend my pre-game prep to anyone, but I typically eat a bag of Air Head Extreme Bites with a teammate, Grace, before each game.
 
Q: What will you be majoring in at Penn State? Is there a particular career path that interests you at the present time?
A: I am planning on studying economics/business and imagine that I will gravitate toward a career in business.
 
Fun facts – Brooke Nicander
Favorite book: When You Reach Me.
Favorite author: JoJo Moyes.
Favorite TV show: Friends.
Favorite movie: The Hunger Games.
Favorite athlete: LeBron James.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: “Any song by Kanye West.”
Favorite place to visit: California.
Favorite pre-game meal: Burger and fries or pizza.  
Favorite color: Blue.
Person I most admire: “My mom – she is so strong and caring – she has had to deal with a lot and has had to help us through difficult times, but she is always there for us.”
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)

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