May 8, 2013
By Ryan Smith, MSU Athletic Communications Student Assistant
Senior Jenny Ramsaier is in her final season as part of the Michigan State softball program after four years of helping out the team. Ramsaier has played in nearly 200 games in the Spartan uniform, starting in almost all of them, and has been an anchor for Michigan State at second base during that time.
Ramsaier’s quality of helping out Michigan State on the field is also one she possesses away from the game of softball. Majoring in IDS Health Studies, Ramsaier plans to continue assisting others by becoming a nurse following graduation.
“I think I have always wanted to help people,” said Ramsaier. “That is something that has always been within me to try and make people happy. Whether it is a fault or a blessing, I don’t know, but I think dedicating myself to helping people will be a valuable life. Everything I considered doing growing up was to help either animals or people, and that eventually led me to nursing.”
Now in her fourth year in the program, this is a quality her other teammates recognize and admire after spending countless days around her.
“Our class has been through a lot together,” said fellow senior Kylene Hopkins. “We have bled together, cried together, and sweat together. I couldn’t have asked for better girls to go through it with. Jenny is the sweetest girl I have met. She will do anything for anybody.”
Ramsaier made an immediate contribution as a freshman, starting in 52 games, and remained in the lineup throughout her career. She cites both the highs and the lows of her time at Michigan State as the driving force for her to get better both on and off the field.
“Some of the seniors during my freshman year definitely made that transition much easier,” Ramsaier said. “It taught me to hopefully become that type of leader for my underclassmen and be the same support group. I think you have to take on that role. I hope at this point it comes naturally and you just look out for your teammates. It’s an honor to be someone who is considered as a leader on this team and have people look up to you.”
“It was difficult and very frustrating to have a season like last season,” said Ramsaier. “That made us that much more determined to turn it around this year.”
And the Spartans did exactly that, winning seven of their first eight Big Ten games this season. But for Ramsaier, it wasn’t all about wins or losses, rather the experience of playing for Michigan State and the memories she has gained along the way.
“It’s been a big honor. It is just really cool to compete at this level and for a Big Ten school,” Ramsaier said. “It is just an honor and I am very blessed for the opportunities I have been given. I will remember everything from our 13-hour bus ride back from Minnesota this season to games in crunch time, seventh inning, and the game is on the line. It is all equally as important.
“I think the first time I put on my uniform is always a big milestone that stands out. It is just such a cool feeling to be able to represent something bigger than yourself and everything you have worked for your entire life.”
As a kid, Ramsaier grew up in a house that loved baseball. Initially, she started out being involved in dancing, but it was at the age of eight that her father took her to club softball, starting her career in the game she would grow to love.
“My dad is a baseball junkie,” said Ramsaier. “When he had girls, there was really no other option than to play softball.”
Being from Mesa, Ariz., Cubs spring training games and season tickets to the Diamondbacks helped fuel her love for the game.
“Just the love for baseball,” Ramsaier responded when asked what inspires her. “It is a great sport. It takes a lot of strategy. There is a self-component as well as a team component. Being so busy is an adjustment and it’s hard to do, but I wouldn’t trade my hectic lifestyle for anything.”
After this season, Ramsaier will have one more year of schooling at Michigan State in order to get her degree. Post graduation, she will move on to an 18-month advanced program, after which she will be ready to become a nurse.