Although she’s now throwing at speeds of 55-60 miles per hour, when Kylie Bunbury first signed on to FOX's Pitch to play a history-making female baseball pitcher, the actress had never even stepped inside a baseball diamond.
The 27-year-old playing Ginny Baker—a young female pitcher who becomes the inaugural woman drafted into the league—recently told PEOPLE that she had no prior experience in America’s favorite pastime.
"I had never played baseball before, so I was training about three or four days a week," she said. “But I grew up in an athletic family. My dad played and my brother currently plays professional soccer, so I'm athletic and it was a little bit easier for me to tap into it."
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Bunbury's training for her onscreen role as a member of the real-life San Diego Padres included time with a coach learning the sport and the mechanics of pitching, as well as game viewings. The process, she says, was immersive.
"I definitely had to live like a pro athlete, so I am doing like epsom salt baths, I'm icing myself, eating well," she says. "The biggest thing is the workout. I was boxing as well. Three to four days a week I was boxing, three or four days a week I was pitching... Real deal over here."
But, even more impressive than her new found athletic skills, the breakout role is generating serious girl-power vibes and has Bunbury feeling like "it's the woman's time now."
"To be a part of that movement is really special and I don't take any of it for granted," the Twisted alum said. "I take it seriously. We're very capable of a lot of things and I think we are showing that in this show."
According to Bunbury, the role not only showcases how strong and “multi-dimensional” women are, but also taps into much-needed diversity on TV.
“I think it is really important for young girls to see themselves [on TV], so the fact that I’m a woman of color playing a strong female character is incredible,” Bunbury said adding, “It is incredibly important, because I know things that I watched growing up made an impact on my choices, so I hope this will have an impact on young girls’ choices as well and empower them.”
Pitch is slated to premiere Thursday Sept. 22 on FOX.