Brevard County high school products have played in the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and the World Series. This week, Eau Gallie’s Alex Powers is playing for Florida State in the Women’s College World Series as the Seminoles softball team faces UCLA on Saturday at noon.
Florida State, now 53-9, lost its opening game Thursday to Georgia, 5-4, but Powers offered some late-game heroics. The Noles trailed before her 2-run homer in the bottom of the sixth tied it at 4.
Among those watching at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City were two other Eau Gallie High grads who have watched the current FSU first baseman grow up: dad Kevin Powers and Commodores volleyball coach Barbara Berry, who coached Powers in her second sport.
“Amazing,” Berry said of watching Thursday’s game from behind the third-base dugout. “To watch a kid work so hard all her life and then watch her dreams come true is amazing.”
Powers, the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, was one of three Seminoles to earn all-America recognition from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association this week. She made the second team at first base.
Entering the World Series, she was hitting .383 with 59 RBIs and 14 home runs. She hit .431 in ACC games.
After Thursday’s game, Kevin reflected on watching his daughter grow up, from the first time he saw “this beautiful kid,” through injuries at FSU and now at the top of her sport.
“Words won’t describe the feelings,” he said. “To see her work through adversity and see her success in and out of the classroom, I couldn’t be more proud.”
The Powers family booked a hotel about 15 minutes from the team hotel so as not to interfere with Alex’s focus, but they’ll be back in the stands on Saturday.
Alex and her teammates will be looking for a smoother performance. On Thursday, the Seminoles built an early two-run lead but committed seven errors on the way to the loss.
“I think that next time we can do a little more trying to get more people on base and doing more situational hitting, which is what we’re good at,” Alex Powers said, “but, I mean, overall I think that we did a decent job at sticking to our plans and knowing what we were going to get.”
Saturday’s loser will be eliminated, but Powers has experience with championship tournaments. She led Eau Gallie to the Class 4A state title in 2011. She was FLORIDA TODAY’s Softball Player of the Year in that, her junior season, and again as a senior.
“She was a major impact player for sure,” said Commodores softball coach Russ Reese, who has followed the tournament from Brevard. “She could change the game in one plate appearance.”
Contact McCallum at 321-242-3698 or email@example.com. Follow @Brian_McCallum on Twitter and facebook.com/FLtoday.brianmccallum.
Women’s College World Series, Oklahoma City
Florida State vs. UCLA