Westbrook High sophomore Grace Wallace is a National Honor Society member and a two-time, sub-junior state champion in marksmanship. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

With six home runs and a .537 batting average through her first 12 varsity softball games, Westbrook High sophomore Grace Wallace quickly established herself as a power-hitting threat and a key contributor for a Blue Blazes squad that looks like a dark horse threat in the upcoming Class A South playoffs.

“I’ve never had a sophomore step in and do what she’s doing this year,” said Westbrook Coach Eddie St. John.

Wallace has honed her softball skills on a variety of travel clubs and will play for the Southern Maine River Rats this summer. Wallace, 16, also plays field hockey and has tried swimming and volleyball (this winter) at Westbrook High, where she is a National Honor Society member. She also has demonstrated a sharp eye and attention to detail in a different competitive arena.

Q: When did you first realize you could hit a softball with power?

A: It probably started in Little League. That was when I hit my first one out. I can still remember it. That was a pretty cool day.

Q: How do you maintain that power and hit with consistency?

A: That’s something I’m still working on to this very day and it’s just mentality for me. I know I have the skill set so it’s just staying out of my head and making sure I’m not my own worst enemy.

Q: Your coach said you hit him with a fairly hard hit ball, that three weeks later he still had a bruise.

A: Yeah. I tend to pull balls to the left field and some times I just pull it too hard. He tells me he’s always ready now, on his toes and alert.

Q: How has travel softball benefited you?

A: Well, I just have a lot more knowledge for the game and then you make a lot of friends and meet a lot of people doing it, which is always a benefit. And it’s just a great experience to be in that environment and play in that kind of setting. It brings a different level to the game.

Q: I understand you’re also a competitive marksman. Are you still doing that?

A: I would be but unfortunately due to COVID our organization (the Cumberland Rifle and Pistol Club) shut down for the season but I plan to do it next year.

Q: Were you any good at shooting?

A: Yeah. I won sub-junior state champion in 2019 and 2020 (shooting .22 caliber rifles).

Q: Shooting seems quite different from softball but are their any crossover skills or traits?

A: I would say the mentality aspect is similar because if you take a bad shot, you have to move on. Same with softball. If you make a bad play or if you strike out, you just have to deal with it and move on. Make it so that shot, or that bad play, doesn’t define you.

Q: Do you like getting involved in clubs or activities that are not athletic-based?

A: Yeah, they definitely have their benefits. I’m in Natural Helpers Club which is a school-based clubs that helps with other students and it grows connections within the school community and I get to know people in my community better.

Q: What does the Natural Helpers Club do?

A: We’re kind of like student counselors. If someone is having a bad day you get to help them and like the other day we gave plants to people and we just set up different activities and I think it’s a lot of fun.

Q: Does that drive to get involved stem from your parents, Brad and Lisa Wallace?

A: Of course it stems from my parents. They’re great role models. They’re involved in a lot and if they are going to be involved in something, they’re involved in it 100 percent. I think that’s important to them and I can see why.

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