Kaylie Wallace, Palm Beach Gardens: Post All-Area large schools softball player of the year
Friday, June 04, 2010
by Joseph Kairalla
Photo by Ray Graham/The Palm Beach Post
Kaylie Wallace started Palm Beach Gardens' first game of the season, a 4-1 loss to Palm Beach Central, and by her own admission, did so poorly it wouldn't have surprised her if she didn't get a chance to pitch against a strong team again.
It turned out that Wallace's fears were unfounded, and that was a good thing for everyone - except opposing batters. Wallace finished the season with an 11-2 record, an 0.56 ERA with 120 strikeouts and was the winning pitcher in all five of Palm Beach Gardens' playoff games en route to the Gators' Class 6A state championship.
"After that first game, I really didn't know if I'd get back out there because we have so many good pitchers," Wallace said. "I guess it's funny how things worked out."
Palm Beach Gardens coach Randy Jackson never hesitated in putting Wallace back on the mound after her opening loss, and the junior made sure to not let her coach down.
"With coach Jackson, I think sometimes we have a love-hate relationship," Wallace said. "But it shows he had a lot of confidence in me, and we as a team have a lot of confidence in him."
Because of Gardens' past success, including state championships in 2005 and 2006, Wallace said there always has been a certain amount of pressure to win. The pressure had grown even more in recent seasons because of several tough losses late in the season, which makes Wallace's accomplishments even more impressive.
"It's really great to be able to add to the tradition of winning that has gone here," Wallace said. "It's something no one can ever take from us."
In the state championship against Sarasota, Gardens led 6-2 when Wallace went back out for the seventh inning with a state title on the line.
Typical of the way her season went, she struck out the side to set off the winning celebration.
"I didn't want to make a scene of it. I just wanted to get three outs and get the title," Wallace said. "I went out there with everything I had and it was perfect."
COACH OF THE YEAR
Palm Beach Gardens
Overcame a tough start to lead the Gators to the Class 6A state title.
The Baylor signee hit .460 with 16 RBI for state
Wellington, Sr., Infield
Hit .541 with 14 stolen bases. Signed with Villanova.
Park Vista, Sr., Infield
Batted .447 with 22 RBI. The four-year starter never hit below .400.
PB Central Sr., Infield
One of the Broncos' top offensive threats, hit .476 with 12 RBI.
Dwyer Sr., Infield
Great power hitter who hit .450 with six home runs, 27 RBI and 23 runs.
PB Gardens Sr., Outfield
Batted .321 with 21 runs scored while playing great defense for the state
Jensen Beach Sr., Outfield
Led the Falcons to state final four with .467 batting average and 26 RBI.
Jupiter Sr., Outfield
Hit .400 with 28 RBI and 26 runs scored for district champion Warriors.
Park Vista Sr., Flex
The Memphis signee hit .484 with 31 RBI for the Cobras.
PB Central Fr., Pitcher
Dominant in winning 18 games with an 0.82 ERA and 142 strikeouts.
Jupiter Jr., Pitcher
Went 14-2 with 118 strikeouts for district champions.
Jensen Beach Sr., Pitcher
Went 21-7 with a 1.08 ERA and 183 strikeouts for state semifinalists.
LARGE SCHOOLS SECOND TEAM
C: Pepper Butler
Boca Raton, So.
IF: Haley Fleming
PB Gardens, Sr.
IF: Brittany Ewing
PB Gardens, Sr.
IF: Lauren Gorodetsky
Jensen Beach, Sr.
IF: Naomi Stevens Okeechobee, Sr.
OF: Devin Williams
OF: Ta'Coia Williams
PB Gardens, Fr.
OF: Christina Robbs
PB Central, Sr.
Flex: Veronica Alred
P: Kylee Hansen
OF: Mackensie Huhn
OF: Laura Downs
Park Vista, Jr.
Boca Raton - Brittany LaCasse; Dwyer - Diane Jacobs, De De Jacobs, Jordan English; Jupiter - Brea Sherin, Maddie Timoteo, Catie Martin;
Lake Worth - Kassie Yeomans; Okeechobee - Victoria Blevins, Samantha Harrell; Palm Beach Central - Anne Marie Van Casteren, Chelsea Neal; Palm Beach Gardens- Taylor Schwarz, Comfort Ahonkhai, Korey Hayden, Shelby Turnier; Park Vista - Jamie Gray, Alexandra Otiz; Spanish River - Shawna Crawford; Wellington - Corrie Boggess