Olivia Dunne gushes over MLB boyfriend Paul Skenes after lighting up Pirates debut with 102 mph fastball

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LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne gushed over boyfriend and top Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Paul Skenes after the No. 1 draft pick stunned in his Spring Training debut on Thursday. 

Skenes, who was the first pick last year after going 13-2 with a 1.69 ERA and 209 strikeouts while leading LSU to the NCAA title, threw 10 pitches, including a 102 mph fastball – a feat Dunne shared on her social media Thursday. 

Paul Skenes, #30 of the Pittsburgh Pirates, pitches during a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium on February 29, 2024, in Sarasota, Florida.  (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

“Something slight,” Dunne wrote on her Instagram Stories sharing a clip of Skenes’ pitch. 


Skenes, who agreed to a record $9.2 million signing bonus in July, expressed his excitement about stepping on the mound in a matchup where he faced two first-round picks – Baltimore Orioles’ Jackson Holliday and Adley Rutschman. 

“I think the biggest thing was just getting out there and pitching in front of people, because adrenaline is a big thing,” he said after the Orioles’ 9-8 victory.  “Just kind of wanted to see where we’re at.”

“Pretty satisfied,” he added. “I’ve got some stuff to work on, but yeah, I’m ready to go. Feel good.”


Dunne, in an appearance on ESPN’s “Sports Center,” talked about her relationship with Skenes and why she believes the duo make a “very good match.” 

Olivia Dunne smiles during competition

Olivia Dunne of the LSU Tigers looks on before a meet against the Florida Gators at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on February 23, 2024, in Gainesville, Florida.  (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

“He’s pretty level-headed all the time, that’s what I love about him. And I think we’re a really good pair because of that,” she said Thursday before Skenes’ debut. 

“I have a crazy lifestyle, and things get thrown my way all the time, and sometimes my emotions sway up and down, and he’s very level, and I just think it’s a very good match.” 


Dunne is also focusing on bringing home a national championship as the No. 2 Tigers prepare for their final conference matchup against Alabama on Friday. 

“It would mean the world to this team and this university,” the LSU senior said. 

Olivia Dunne during competition

Olivia Dunne of the LSU Tigers competes during a meet against the Florida Gators at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on February 23, 2024, in Gainesville, Florida.  (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

“It’s an unprecedented area for LSU gymnastics to win a national championship, and I just think it would be so special for Tiger nation.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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