Katherine Connors, the laid-back beauty queen from Iowa, threw the ceremonial first pitch tonight at Nationals Park. Connors met with Miguel Batista before the game and the reliever provided some first pitch tips.
Batista urged Miss Iowa to take a few steps toward home plate, instead of throwing from the mound. He also encouraged her to throw high to avoid bouncing the pitch. She listened. It was high and a little outside, but Batista managed to snag it.
One of the most anticipated ceremonial pitches of the season, the event ended the lighthearted feud which began on Tuesday evening when Batista, filling in for Stephen Strasburg, compared himself to Connors.
It’s been a whirlwind week for Connors, who received a lot of media attention for taking the whole thing in stride.
“I take it as a joke,” she said, while laughing. “We have to admit that we’re from Iowa and sometimes we get a bad rap. There are a few people in Iowa who said, ‘you need to go to D.C. and show that man what’s up’ but most people just take it as a joke, just like me.”
A self-described tomboy, Connors is a Cubs fan who grew up attending Des Moines Cubs Triple-A games. Batista played for that team back in 1997, but Connors was only seven years old.
Since the incident, Batista sent her flowers to apologize. He was also invited to judge the Miss Iowa competition in October of this year.
“We both didn’t know this was going to blow up as much as it has,” she said. “We were joking around that when people say Miss Iowa, we look around like ‘Me, Miss Iowa or him, Miss Iowa?’”
After the pitch, Batista introduced Connors to Miss Universe (Stephen Strasburg).