Miss Iowa to Throw Out First Pitch in Series Opener Against Philadelphia

The Washington Nationals have invited Katherine Connors, Miss Iowa USA, to throw out a Ceremonial First Pitch before the team opens their series against the Philadelphia Phillies tomorrow, Friday, July 30, at 7:05pm.

The invitation was coordinated after Tuesday evening's game against Atlanta, when the Nationals' Miguel Batista replaced rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg for the start of the game. Following a successful performance which included 6 strike outs in 5.0 shutout innings, Batista was asked about the reaction to him on the mound and the veteran made an indirect reference to the beauty queen.

Batista has since clarified his statement, saying, "People started booing me, and they hadn't seen me throw a pitch yet. It's like you hear Miss Iowa, and you say, 'Iowa?' And then you see her up close and you say, 'Wow, she's gorgeous.'"

In addition to sending flowers to her home in Bettendorf, Iowa, Batista plans to meet with Connors in person before Friday's game and will serve as the catcher for her First Pitch.