Redbirds' Grace Presley

EDWARDSVILLE - Alton High senior softball pitcher Grace Presley is having a very good season with the Redbirds, despite their 8-10 record as the team gets ready to enter the stretch run of the season, including the upcoming IHSA Class 4A playoffs.

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Presley has been the team's main pitcher, and has done well in the circle so far, sporting a 6-8 record in 14 appearances and eight complete games, with an ERA of 3.87. She's allowed 58 runs, 42 earned, on 75 hits, walking 38 and striking out 127, with opponents hitting .234 against her. Offensively, Presley is hitting .440, going 22-for-50, with two home runs and seven RBIs.

Presley is an Auto Butler Female Athlete Of Month for the Redbirds.

She's also provided leadership and guidance to her teammates and is an important part of the club. In a recent 10-0 loss at Edwardsville on May 2, Presley allowed eight runs, seven earned, on eight hits in three innings pitched, walking four and fanning six.

The Redbirds got down early, and didn't play particularly well in the loss to the Tigers, but in her postgame interview, Presley knows that her team has battled in their games.

"It was a very tough loss," Presley said. "We did a lot of things wrong tonight, and we all had our heads down. But, we need to kind of pick up a little bit."

The Redbirds faced a tough stretch of games over the weekend of May 3-4, but the schedule was postponed, due to rainy weather, along with the forecast of such weather. Presley knows what the Redbirds need to do to get out of their current slump, especially against the Southwestern Conference teams.

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"Yeah, we need to come out strong tomorrow against (Belleville) East," Presley said, referring to a game that was eventually postponed, "have our heads up, and be hitting the ball. If we don't hit the ball and make plays, then we all get down really quick."

Although the season hasn't gone the way Alton would have hoped for, the Redbirds are still battling and plugging away, never giving up and holding steady, no matter the situation.

"It is," Presley said. "All the girls are staying together and trying to keep it strong."

When things are going right for the Redbirds, everyone is pumped up and are raring to keep on going.

"Whenever things go right, everybody's just kind of really excited," Presley said, "and we're all up. But, I also feel like everybody else has that good mentality at the plate, and we're hitting the ball, making the plays we need to be made."

As far as goals and aspirations for both Presley and the Redbirds, Presley is keeping things simple and straightforward.

"I'm going to keep on working hard," Presley said, "supporting my teammates as much as I can, and we'll go from there."

Again, congrats to Presley on her honor as an Alton Butler Female Athlete of Month for the Redbirds.

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