Senior verbally commits to WashU for softball

October 26, 2016 — by Chelsea Leung and Alexandra Li
natasha

Softball provides senior Natasha Ramakrishnan pathway to WashU

During the summer of 2013, Coach Mike Davey helplessly stared back at the club softball team he was coaching. Everyone was present except for the crucial center fielder. Davey’s first thought was to move current senior Natasha Ramakrishnan, who was playing at second base, to center field.

“No problem, coach,” Davey remembers Ramakrishnan saying. “Whatever’s best for the team.”

Davey recalls Ramakrishnan going out and playing a stellar game at center field, later replacing the missing player for the entire season.

Ramakrishnan’s passion for the sport and value as a versatile player has now allowed her to play it at the college level. She has verbally committed to Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) for Division III softball. She intends to major in biological sciences.

Ramakrishnan comes from an athletic family, but she is the first to pursue a sport in college.

Following in the footsteps of her brother, class of 2015 alumnus Samir, who played baseball all through high school, Ramakrishnan started playing softball at the Los Gatos Saratoga Recreation League when she was 7.

Later she joined the Los Gatos-Saratoga Magic. She continued on to the San Jose Lightning during the summer of 2015, and played for the NorCal Legends this summer as a left fielder.

“The Legends is a great group of girls who share my same intensity and passion for the sport,” Ramakrishnan said. “I’ve been able to compete with other players who play at a high caliber, so I am always motivated to get better.”

Ramakrishnan credits her club coaches with encouraging her to attend the Heads First softball camp, where she met WashU's assistant coach, Kaitlyn Dulac, at Irvine this past summer.

After maintaining contact with Dulac throughout the summer and touring WashU’s campus, Ramakrishnan was offered a second visit, in which Ramakrishnan met both the softball team and head coach Michelle Venturella.

One week after her second visit, she was offered a position on the team.

Committing to WashU lifted the pressure from her college application process, as she now only has to apply to some backup schools. Being one of her top choices, the school fits her both academically and athletically. Ramakrishnan said she is now focusing on receiving an academic scholarship because Division III schools aren’t able to offer sports scholarships.

Davey agrees that WashU will be a perfect fit for Ramakrishnan. During the seven years he’s coached her, she has been a joy to have in class and on the field.

“I think Division III is better than Division I because Division I runs your life in college,” he said. “It’s like a full-time job on top of school, and it’s really difficult for a lot of kids.”

Ramakrishnan looks forward to her future at WashU, and when reflecting on her past, she said she realizes how influential her coaches have been.

“I would like to thank Michelle Venturella, Kaitlyn Dulac, Mike Davey, [coach] Greg Spirakis and [high school coach] Chris Smith,” said Ramakrishnan. “I’m really excited to pursue my passion for the sport in college while still being able to focus on academics and biological sciences.”

 
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