Gracie Wallace, Windermere Prep softball

A senior pitcher and Florida Gulf Coast University commit, Wallace transferred to Windermere Prep last year as a junior and posted a 25-2 record with a 0.54 ERA and 326 strikeouts. She helped lead the Lakers to their first-ever district and regional titles and a berth in the state final.

OFM: Last year was such a special season for you and the team. What stands out when you look back on it?

GW: My favorite game was the regional championship game (a 4-3 win over The First Academy in 11 innings). It was so long and we played a lot of innings and we really had to [come together] to advance. That was really a special game for me.

OFM: Did you fit in right away?

GW: Yes. Everybody was really welcoming and it was great to be part of the team.

OFM: Were you surprised to have an impact right away after transferring to the school?

GW: I had written down goals before the season. I wanted to win a district championship and one of my goals was to make it to states. I really wasn’t expecting to do that good but I was grateful that it happened.

OFM: What are your goals for this season?

GW: We lost some key players but I want to at least win the district championship again.

OFM: Have you always been a pitcher?

GW: I started pitching when I was 10 but I didn’t get serious about it until I was 14 in eighth grade. It took me a while to really get the hang of it. It paid off.

OFM: What do you like about the position?

GW: I like having control and having the pace of the game. I would say you have the most control as a pitcher.

OFM: What pitches do you throw?

GW: I throw a two-seam fastball, a changeup, a screwball, a curveball and a riseball.

OFM: Is there a pitch you like to throw the most when you really need an out?

GW: My favorite pitch to throw is my screwball but probably my best strikeout pitch is my riseball.

OFM: You had over 300 strikeouts last year. Can you tell early on in a game when you have dominant stuff and have a chance to strike a lot of batters out?

GW: It is a really good feeling when I’m doing good and I try to keep the rhythm going for the whole game. It does get tiring depending on what game it is but I still try to pull through every time.

OFM: I know you had a perfect game last year against Foundation Academy. What stands out when you think back to that day?

GW: That was a really good day. I tried not to think about it because I didn’t want to ruin it. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself and mess it up but I still wanted to keep doing everything the same. I think the last out was a strikeout swinging. Everyone was really excited about the win. I don’t remember if I even knew it was a perfect game right after but I probably did.

OFM: How is new head coach Jenilee Tomlinson working out?

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