Nuzum's Superstitions Help Lead FSU Softball to Success
A lucky pair of socks. A certain hair style. Painted nails. There are many superstitions in softball, but Fairmont State's Nikki Nuzum may have found a way to top all of them with the design of her eye black.
"The eye black started in my sophomore year," said Nuzum, a senior pitcher on the team. "I actually did it for a Halloween costume. I was Mike Tyson for Halloween. And then first home game, a senior did my eye black, and it kind of looked like, so then we won, and it just stuck for the next three years."
Coach Rick Wade said he has no problem with the eye black because the team has had a lot of success while she has worn it.
"You all have your superstitions of what sock you put on first, what shoe you tie first," Wade said. "We won a ball game with it on, and it just stuck. She's worn it every year and every game since then, and we've won a lot of games with her eye black on the side like that."
Wade admitted that he also has his own superstitions, but he doesn't see any eye black in his future.
"I'll maybe put on the same jacket that I've won a ballgame with, things like that, but I'm not too much for that," Wade said. "I do use the same pencil for every game to keep score. That's my thing. I have a pencil that I keep in my left pocket."
Nuzum said she believes that superstitions are so common in softball because they bring an element of control into a sport that luck will often dictate.
"Baseball and softball are such a game of luck," Nuzum said. "Things can just go bad. You can have one thing go bad after another. Then you have one thing that goes good. You have one hit after another hit. I just feel like superstitions like just make us feel like we have some type of control over that luck."