Former Etowah softball standout Skylar Wallace has experienced a number of highs during her career, but she said this past weekend tops the list.
The 2018 graduate helped lead Team USA to a gold medal at the Under-19 World Cup last Saturday in Irvine, California. The U.S. defeated Japan on a walk-off in last Saturday’s championship game, and Wallace said the experience was one she will not soon forget.
“It was definitely the highlight of my softball career so far,” Wallace said. “You always see those older girls on TV winning gold medals, and I finally got to do that.”
The victory over Japan allowed the U.S. to become the first country to win the event in three consecutive years. Wallace said she knew a victory over Japan would not come easy.
“We knew they were the best competition,” she said. “They practice all the time and it’s basically their life. We played their older team earlier in the summer and knew it was going to be a hard game.”
Wallace started at second base every game of the tournament and also served as the team’s leadoff batter. Wallace led the 16-team tournament in runs scored (18) and total bases (25), and she finished second in hits with 14.
The 2017 Cherokee Tribune Softball Player of the Year is entering her sophomore year at Alabama. She was named to the Southeastern Conference’s all-freshman and all-tournament teams this past spring and said the experience playing with the U-19 national team has allowed her to continue to push her game to new heights.
“At the plate, I think it was my best tournament with Team USA,” Wallace said. “You go from college where you have a certain strike zone, and at the international level, the strike zone is different. It took a little time to adjust to that, and I was struggling earlier in the summer in a few tournaments, but I think I did pretty well this past weekend.”