Missing more than the game

Senior Grace Germer reflects on the season being cut short and what she misses most

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photo by Erin Thornsbury

Senior outfielder Grace Germer has had a roller coaster softball career. From playing baseball with boys until she was 7 to travel softball, winning a state title, almost quitting, to a senior season comeback where she has been the leading batter for the varsity softball team.

Germer misses the sport more than ever now due to the coronavirus putting the season on hold. But getting on base and scoring runs is not what she misses most. She misses the constant that has remained through the years: her teammates.

“Working four years of your life just to have it taken away and not being able to play with the team you love, it’s heartbreaking,” Germer said.

She has played softball with a lot of the girls on the team at Oviedo Babe Ruth, including second baseman Courtney Ramirez, center fielder Angel Villanueva and shortstop Olivia Lipari. They would travel across the district to face other all-star teams in the district to advance to the softball world series.

“I have played with these girls since I was eight,” Germer said. “All of us being on the same team and having the best time of our life plays as big motivation just to play with them now.”

Another aspect of playing with lifelong friends is that the team has great team chemistry, which can lead to success on the field.

Because of the relationship with Lipari and Villanueva in center field, they can work together to determine what ball the other can and cannot get.

“She has such an outgoing personality and when she is energetic on the field, it helps boost my energy,” Lipari said. “She talks about the goods and the bads about the game with us too.”

Prior to the season being postponed due to the coronavirus, Germer had a batting average of .452, the second highest on the team, with 17 runs and three home runs. She is also the lead-off hitter for the team. Germer bats first and gets on base for her teammates to hit and move her around the bases to score runs.

After losing six starting seniors, there was uncertainty in how their season would go. Now, the team is 10-2 and riding a six-game winning streak, which included defeating 2019 state champs and rivals Winter Springs, 4-3. The team had great momentum going into spring break until. Now, they are holding on to the last bit of hope for the season to stay postponed, rather than cancelled.

“You can’t sugarcoat it,” Germer said. “Knowing that [the season] could be cancelled and never be able to play again, it sucks.”

Back in November, Germer accepted a scholarship to play junior college (JUCO) softball at Seminole State College and says she hopes to transfer to a Division I school in two years.

With graduation coming up, and other seniors playing at other colleges, this is not the ending that Germer envisioned.

“We were doing so good, but it was interrupted, and I can’t do anything about it,” Germer said. “The only thing I can do is be the number one supporter for the girls going to play in college and the girls that will still be playing at Hagerty.”

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