By Chris Cox
Playing baseball or softball is something that every kid in Dale does at some point in their life and Dale senior Gracee Waller is no exception.
“Ever since I was able to pick up a ball and a bat, I’ve played,” she says. “My parents got me started. They’ve always been involved in the little league here in Dale, so I’ve always been around baseball and softball. It sparked my interest, and I started playing.”
As much as Waller enjoys the competition and winning, which Dale does a lot of, it’s the bonds that Waller builds that keeps her playing.
“I love the relationships I build with my teammates and coaches,” she says. “We are around each other so much with softball that we become one big family. We travel a bit more with softball, so those long road trips allow you to spend time together and get to know each other.”
Growing up in Dale, Waller knows that state titles are the expectation and as one of two seniors on this year’s team, she is trying to lead her team to their first fast pitch title since 2018.
“It’s tough and you have to live up to the good leadership at Dale,” she says. “I’m just trying to guide them on and off the field. You have to have the right attitude on the field. But guiding them off the field is big too. We are really big into church. We like sharing Bible verses with each other and getting closer to God. I want to get to know everyone on the team and be a good role model.”
While those relational goals are the most important to Waller, Gracee says they are not shy about setting big competitive goals at Dale.
“We definitely want to make it to the state championship and win it,” she says. “It’s been a while since we won a state championship in fast pitch so that’s our goal this year. But our main goal is to get three state championships in the three sports this year. That’s fast pitch, basketball, and slow pitch.”
Along with playing softball, Gracee is a power forward for the Lady Pirates basketball team and involved with the Dale FCA. After high school, Waller will be playing basketball in college although she has not decided where she will play.