Doubleheader Softball Q&A Session: RBC's Gabby Bram, Tess Griswold

Doubleheader Softball Q&A Session: RBC's Gabby Bram, Tess Griswold


Doubleheader Softball Q&A Session: RBC's Gabby Bram, Tess Griswold


Editor’s note: This softball season, the Asbury Park Press brings forth a new content initiative titled The Softball Q&A Sessions, which will appear multiple times per week on and feature a randomly picked Shore Conference player’s answers to fun, light-hearted and interesting questions. Participating players are selected by their coaches and softball writer David Biggy asks the questions via email.

This week, we did something a little different and asked two players from the same team to provide a doubleheader Q&A. So, here are Gabby Bram and Tess Griswold from Red Bank Catholic.

Gabby first …

Q. Tess Griswold … You’ve known her for a long time. So what’s her most endearing quality?

A. I have known Tess since I was 9 years old and she is one of my bes tfriends off and on the softball field. Tess’ most endearing quality is she is a very positive person. She is always optimistic no matter what is happening. During softball games, she stays positive even when she or the team is not doing well. If you are ever having a bad game Tess’ positive attitude helps you feel better. Tess has many great qualities, but being positive all the time is definitely her best and most endearing quality.

Q. What’s so fun about playing first base, anyway?

A. I have been playing first base for a long time and there is never a dull game at this position. First basemen are usually in almost every play. I always have to be on my toes and be ready for any type of throw that’s coming to me. My favorite thing at firs tbase is scooping the ball. I have always been good at scooping and it’s just one of the things that makes first base fun and challenging. I have played other positions and first base is the best position, and the place where I feel most comfortable and confident.

Q. OK, so who’s really tougher – you or Tess?

A. Tess and I are both very tough players. On the field, Tess and I are equally tough. Our positions are very important in softball and require us to be both mentally and physically tough. Mentally we can not let errors or bad at-bats get in our way of playing a great game. Physically, we have to be tough and not let any balls get past us. Catching and first base both require us to block everything we can.

Q. So do you have a favorite bat? Which one and why do you like it so much?

A. I do have a favorite bat and it is the Louisville Slugger LXT. I feel that I take my best swings with the LXT and it has the most power I have ever felt in a bat. I am very comfortable using the LXT, and that is important when hitting. What I love most about the LXT is the huge sweet spot on the bat. (Biggy’s note: And here I was expecting more praise for the Xeno bats. Nice to know the Louisville Slugger brand still has a place in softball.)

Q. Why is softball THE sport for you?

A. I have been playing softball since I was 5 years old, and I knew from the beginning it was the sport for me. I love everything about the game, especially hitting. Softball is something that comes natural to me and I feel my most comfortable while I am playing. It is both a fun and competitive sport, which is just one of the qualities that makes it such a great sport. I have played softball my whole life and worked so hard, so I can’t wait to continue playing at Hofstra University.

Q. If you were creating a softball team, who not on your team, would you pick first and why?

If I was creating a softball team the first person I would pick is Ally Frei. She is an amazing pitcher and one of the best pitchers I have ever seen. I have hit against Ally once and she had the most movement on her pitches I have ever seen. Not only does she have great movement, she has great speed. That is why, if I created a softball team, I would pick Ally Frei first. (Biggy’s note: High Point senior Ally Frei has long been considered one of the premier pitchers in New Jersey and, I believe, is headed to Boston College in the fall.)

And now Tess …

Q. Gabby Bram … You’ve known her for a long time. So what’s her most endearing quality?

A. I’ve known Gub since I was 8, and we’ve grown together as players and friends. We’re still on the same travel team today, Intensity. My favorite thing about her is her positivity and her love for the game. She picks all of us up and pushes us to be better as a whole.

Q. What’s your best attribute as a catcher?

A. The quality I’m most proud of as a catcher is being a leader. I love taking control of the field and working with my team to achieve the same goal — winning the game. I’m lucky to have such a great pitcher, as Jenn (Mancino) and I love calling the pitches. Calling pitches is one of my favorite things to do, because I spend a lot of time hitting and can see things in other batters’ swings that can help us get that strikeout.

Q. OK, so who’s really tougher – you or Gabby?

A. I’d say Gabby and I are both pretty tough. We joke around outside of softball but during the game it’s all about focus and hard work. Both our positions, catcher and first base, require us to be ready for anything and to be like a brick wall, mentally and physically. (Biggy’s note: I mostly based this question on the fact I witnessed Gabby and Tess have a brief wrestling match after the Caseys’ victory over Toms River East earlier in the week.)

Q. I know you have a favorite restaurant, so which is it and what’s on the menu that you love so much?

A. I’m a pretty stereotypical teenaged girl and, if I could, I would live off of Chipotle and Starbucks, but right now my favorite restaurant is Queso. The food is pretty good and I always get the buffalo chicken (no blue cheese please!) quesadilla. My dad and I usually go there after my games and that’s why I love it so much. I’m grateful for the time my parents take to support me as a person and player. What better way to show your thanks then over quesadillas? (Biggy’s note: More a question … Is it really a stereotypical-teenaged-girl thing to want to live off Starbucks? I love the place and I’m a 42-year-old sports writer!)

Q. Why is softball THE sport for you?

A. I was always that kid who played all sports when I was younger, but I really grew up on the baseball field. My brother played his whole life and in college and I’d say that’s how I originally fell in love with the game. Although the game is physically challenging, players are required to mentally give 110-percent. I love the amount of thinking you have to put into every pitch throughout the whole game, especially as a catcher. Also, hitting is a big factor. I go out and hit with my dad to the point where it’s now like a hobby. We have so much fun with the music blasting and loving what we’re doing. Softball’s also taught me more lessons that correspond to my life than I could ever count and I’m so grateful for that.

Q. You just had a birthday in February, so what was the best thing you received for it?

A. I turned 16 in February and it was really rad. I had a small Sweet 16 party at the restaurant Teak in Red Bank (highly recommend it). I know it’s cliche, but the best thing was having all of my best friends, from RBC and Intensity, and my family in one room. Putting that many people I love in a room with food and good music was better than any material possession I could get.


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