A commitment to improving in the offseason has helped Abbey Gapinski become Rochester Lourdes' ace pitcher, and she hopes her hard work leads the Eagles to their first state softball tournament. Photo by Andrew Link/Rochester Post Bulletin
Gapinski hopes she can help Rochester Lourdes replicate last season's success and guide the program to its first state tournament in her final year as an Eagle. She has been a part of the team throughout her high school career and has improved along the way thanks to some help from former Eagan and Gophers standout pitcher Sara Moulton.
With her senior season in full swing, Gapinski recently spoke with the MN Softball Hub about a wide variety of subjects, including how she has improved during her high school career.
MN Softball Hub: What made you decide to commit to playing softball at Luther College?
AG: Honestly, the atmosphere was what I wanted. It was the small town. That’s what I wanted. I thought it would be the best fit.
MN Softball Hub: You have worked with former Gopher pitcher Sara Moulton during your career. How did you meet Sara and what are some of the most important things she has taught you?
AG: She came down [to Rochester] for a camp two years ago. I really meshed with her and really worked well with her. I decided to go up [to the Twin Cities] and spend some extra time with her. It really helped me develop new pitches because of her expertise in the field.
MN Softball Hub: How has poor spring weather affected you and your team this season?
AG: It’s been a lot of practices. It’s been effective to work in the gymnasium and see what works best for me as a pitcher and for people who know how I pitch.
It was when I was in second grade and I was on my sister’s softball team. She didn’t want me on the team. I was watching the pitcher pitch and I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do.
-- Abbey Gapisnki
MN Softball Hub: What is one song you’re listening to right now?
AG: “The Middle” by Maren Morris and Zedd. It’s the team’s favorite song. We dance [to it] and have fun. Everyone gets up and goes crazy.
MN Softball Hub: If you weren’t playing softball, what would you be doing?
AG: I think I’d be doing the shot put or discus, something with strength in the arms. My [physical education teacher] wanted me to go out for track, but I couldn’t because of softball. It always intrigued me.
MN Softball Hub: What is your dream job?
AG: I want to be an elementary [school] teacher and be a pitching coach on the side.
MN Softball Hub: How was it to give up basketball after playing that and softball growing up?
AG: It was pretty hard. Basketball was kind of my No. 1 sport before about eighth grade. But, it paid off when I switched. I get to focus on softball in the winter time instead of basketball.
MN Softball Hub: Who is the person that’s had the biggest influence on your life?
AG: Honestly, my dad. He’s taught me from a really young age. He taught me to work for it. His favorite quote is, “Do you want it, or do you want to work for it?”
MN Softball Hub: Your team fell to Zumbrota-Mazeppa in the section final last season. What will it take for you guys to get past the Cougars and win the section?
AG: I think we need to eliminate all the errors we have made in the past. They’re tough competition. We also need to hit. Their pitchers can psych us out. We need to stay confident in our ability to win.