August 07, 2017 11:37 PM
(ABC 6 News) – The Lourdes Eagles softball season can be described in one word so far in 2017—dominant, and that’s the perfect way to describe their junior pitcher, Abbey Gapinski.
Gapinski has quietly become a star on the softball diamond for the Eagles this season.
“Abbey is a real hard-worker,” Eagles head softball coach Becky Macken said. “She decided to put all of her time into pitching softball. We’ve expected to be pretty solid this year, and it’s been working out. We feel things are moving in the right direction.”
In the offseason, Gapinski gave up playing basketball, committing to becoming a better softball player—she worked a few days a week with former University of Minnesota pitcher Sara Moulton, who holds the school record for games pitched (178), innings pitched (1,017), complete games (108), wins (112), shutouts (47), and strikeouts (1,184).
Working with someone so accomplished in softball has certainly paid off for the Eagles—Gapinski is undefeated as a pitcher this season.
“I’ve been able to use a lot more pitches now and move my ball more around,” Gapinski said. “My hard work in the offseason has paid off.”
“She’s tall in stature,” Macken added. “She wants to make a difference. Her physical strength is her strength, and she’s got great mechanics, and that’s something that can be learned.”
To go along with her success as a pitcher, she’s also been great as a hitter, hitting three home runs from the batter’s box this season. When asking Gapinski where she’d prefer to dominate from, without hesitation, it’s from the pitching circle.
“A lot of people can hit a ball,” Gapinski said. “But it’s kind of cool that you can have success from the pitching mound because not everyone can do it.”
Gapinski was a gift for the Eagles—she transferred to Lourdes from Rochester Mayo during her freshman year.
Originally from Becker, Minnesota, Gapinski said she left Mayo because she’s used to a “small town vibe”.
“Coming to Mayo, it was not what I was used to,” Gapinski said regarding her decision to transfer. “It was weird, so Lourdes was the next best option for the small town and the smallness.”
Without any uncertainty, the Eagles are happy to have Gapinski in their dugout—and her attitude and willingness to grow as a pitcher.
“Right now, I’m (pitching) from side-to-side,” Gapinski said. “I want to go up and down more to get that strikeout pitch and to get everything going together.”
“I think whatever Abbey wants to do, Abbey can do,” Macken added. “I think she has a pretty high bar set for herself. I know she wants to play college softball, and I think that’ll really come together playing club softball this summer. Her work ethic is great, you don’t have to babysit her.”
Gapinski said she “likes” the Eagles chances to reach the Class AA state tournament later this Spring, saying she doesn’t feel “anyone can stop them” this year. Gapinski and the Eagles (12-1 through Tuesday) are currently unranked in the Class AA softball rankings.
Updated: August 07, 2017 11:37 PM
Created: May 03, 2017 05:30 PM
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