Miss Iowa to throw out first pitch at Nats Park

Katherine Connors, Miss Iowa 2010, will throw the ceremonial first pitch Friday before the Nationals face the Phillies at Nationals Park.

The invitation was coordinated after Nationals right-hander Miguel Batista replaced rookie Stephen Strasburg and pitched five shutout innings.

After receiving a round of boos from the fans after it was learned that Strasburg wasn’t making his scheduled start, Batista said he understood why the fans were not happy to see him pitch.

“Imagine if you go there to see Miss Universe and you end up having Miss Iowa. You might get those kind of boos,” Batista said. “But it’s OK. They have to understand that as an organization, we have to make sure that the kid is fine. You don’t want to expose him out there.”

Batista said his words were taking out of context and he told his attorney to send flowers to Connors.

“The way I said it wasn’t the way it was interpreted,” Batista said. “What I meant was the person that you listen to is Miss Iowa, and you go, ‘Oh, here you go.’ When you take a look at the woman, you go, ‘Hold on: She is from Iowa, but she is gorgeous.’

“That’s what I want people to see. I walked to the mound and people started booing. They haven’t see me throw a pitch. It’s like the same thing. You go to see Miss Universe and you get Miss Iowa. You want to turn around and you see the woman and you say, ‘Hello.’ Miss Iowa is a really pretty woman, very beautiful.”

Batista plans to meet with Connors in person before Friday’s game and will serve as the catcher for her first pitch.

“I have to find out if she can be accurate or very wild when she throws, so I have to be careful. If she thinks I’m going to be practicing the swimsuit and the high heels, not a chance,” Batista said. “She beat me already because I’m not even going to try. I think the Nationals uniform is good enough.

“They’re making a lot of news about this, hopefully by the end of the day, when she goes back to Iowa, she’ll say something good about us,” Batista said. “[Hopefully she’ll say], ‘Hey, he was a cool guy. He looks like a low-budget Vin Diesel, but he’s nice. Hopefully we’re going to show her the best of Washington, and she can have a good time.” 

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