Tomorrow the Falmouth High School softball team will start its postseason run, which extends the high school career of the six already graduated senior Clippers. Although they’re already looking forward to the next chapters in their lives beginning, they aren’t ready for their time as teammates to come to an end just yet.
One of those seniors who has played a huge role in Falmouth’s excellent 17-3 regular season has been pitcher Molly Bruce. The starter for the majority of the games the last three years, Bruce has had a fantastic season in the circle and also been one of the team’s top hitters.
The daughter of Ed Bruce, and her head coach, Amy Bruce, Molly said that math classes were her favorites while at FHS. Her phone is her most-prized possession.
Molly said “The Fault In Our Stars” is her favorite movie and “Grey’s Anatomy” is her favorite TV show. The Plain White T’s are her favorite band and chicken tenders and fries—lots of fries—are her go-to meal, with a root beer with extra ice.
How did you get involved with softball? How much do you enjoy it?
I practically grew up on a softball field, watching my mom play, and then like most kids I was put into tee-Ball when I was in kindergarten and moved onto baseball, and then to softball in 3rd grade. Naturally, I was just put into softball because of my mom and I fell in love with it from the beginning. There has never been a time when I regret playing softball, or wanted to quit, because I fell in love with it from the start and it has given me relationships that I wouldn’t give up for the world.
Your team has had one of its best seasons ever. Did you expect that this year would be as good as it has been, and what do you think the keys have been?
My team has been amazing this year, both on and off the field. Honestly, at the beginning of the season I didn’t know what to expect because of all of the starting positions that had to be filled and the freshmen who would have to fill them, but they, along with everyone else, have stepped up big this year and played the role that they needed to in order for our team to succeed the way that we have been. The main keys to our success this year, I think, are our communication in defense as well as our offense. We are hitting very well this season and that is thanks to everyone stepping up, in not just the big moments but in every at-bat.
You’ve been the starting pitcher for the past few years, but this year you’ve also made a big difference with your bat. Did you change anything about the way you approach hitting this year? What do you attribute the improvements to?
The past few years I haven’t really been in the batting order much, so that I could focus on my pitching, but this year I knew I needed to step up in the batting order. I worked a lot over the summer and the winter in the cages, but what I attribute most [the change to] is my mentality when I am up at the plate this year. When I step up to bat I forget everything and relax, because my body knows what to do from all of the hard work that I did, and thinking too much about it and what I need to fix will change the way that I swing.
As a pitcher, you don’t rely just on trying to strike batters out. Is it easier to do your job because of the defense behind you?
A lot of pitchers are strikeout pitchers in that they are very dominant, and have high velocity, but I do not consider myself a strikeout pitcher. The defense that I have behind me has been very solid this year, which has made it easier to not try to strike out batters but rather try to induce a ground ball or short pop-up to get outs.
You also played basketball at FHS. What were the best parts of being a part of that program and how much did you enjoy it?
Unfortunately, I was unable to play basketball my freshman and sophomore years due to injury, but the two years that I was there, I always felt like a part of the team, no matter what. This includes both the players and the coaches. From the start, even walking in as a junior to tryouts for the first time, I felt support from the players, and most importantly the coaches. We had an amazing year this year and I know that they will do even better next year after going through all of the learning curves this year.
If you could replay one game that you have played in, which one would it be? Why?
If I could replay one game, it would be the game this year against Marshfield. It was a close game the whole time and we were up for the first couple innings, but then Marshfield started to come back and everyone played exactly the way that they could, doing all that they could to keep them from scoring. What gave us the game-winning run was Meghan Robbins’s out-of-the-park home run, which got all of us fired up and excited for her, and we knew that we needed to finish the game since we already had the lead. The way that the team rallied together and freshmen stepped up big were early signs in the beginning of the season that we were going to be very successful.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
The highlight of my athletic career by far was having a share of the league title in softball this year. It was the first time ever that Falmouth High School softball won the ACL title, and it will also be the last because there will be no ACL next year. The way that my team fought against everyone in the ACL, but more specifically D-Y and Marshfield, was unexpected. We went into the season wanting to win the ACL like everyone else, but we had our doubts because we knew it would be hard to beat DY and Marshfield, but once we beat Marshfield the first time we played them, we knew it was extremely possible. I am so proud of my team for what we have accomplished this year.
Who is the best teammate you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
It is too hard to only pick one because they are kind of a package deal. The two best teammates that I have ever played with were Madi Lima and Olivia Rowell. They were always there to have my back, no matter what position they were in, and they were also always there to make sure I had fun. There is one memory that sticks out very fondly in my head. It was my freshman year when I was playing on JV in the first game of the season and I got pulled up to varsity right in the middle of the game to pitch. I was wearing a completely opposite uniform from everyone else, and I was freaking out because it was my first varsity game ever, and all I remember is Madi and Liv making jokes and comments to try to get me to laugh and have fun.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
If you ask any one of my teammates, they will tell you that I am very superstitious. I have small ones—like not stepping on the lines before the game to eating gummy Octopi (not Octopuses) during the game, but the biggest one I have is probably that no one can touch the game ball during the game in-between innings.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
The most important thing that I have learned from playing sports is sportsmanship. It is something that a lot of people think everyone who plays sports has, but that is not true. A lot of people do not understand the importance of sportsmanship because they are only thinking about themselves and not about the effects of what you say or do when on the field on other people. When you are on the field, the way that you treat both your teammates and your opponents matters and what matters most is the way that you handle both wins and losses.
Who has been your inspiration?
My inspiration by far would be my mom because I grew up watching her play softball, and then, once I started playing, she became my coach every year until this year, my senior year, which is the last year that she will be my coach. My relationship between my mom and I has strengthened tremendously and I give all the credit to softball for that. I look up to her both as my mom, and my coach, and I hope to one day come back to Falmouth and take over for her as the varsity softball coach.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my mom and my dad, of course; my uncle who comes to watch all of my games; all of my coaches through the years who have helped me become the player I am today; and my friends and teammates who have supported me through it all.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited? Is there somewhere in the world that you’ve always dreamed of going? Why?
The most interesting place that I have ever visited is Cinque Terre in Italy. It is a string of villages along the Italian coastline in which you need to take a boat to get from one village to the next and the vistas are beautiful. I have always dreamed of going to Spain because I enjoy speaking Spanish very much, and I want to learn and immerse into the culture.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
The biggest difference between myself as a senior and a freshman is my confidence. I had little to no confidence in myself as a freshman and it built up over the years, thanks to my coaches and teammates. The advice that I would give to my freshman self is that there is a lot of pressure being the pitcher, but you just have to learn how to turn that into something that pushes you to try even harder.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
Something that people would be surprised to learn about me is that I have a great interest in learning American Sign Language and I have learned a lot through online courses and will study it more in college.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
If I could switch places with one person for a week it would be Rachel Garcia, who is the pitcher for the UCLA softball team. UCLA is currently in the Women’s College World series and I would want to see her experience in the WCWS through her eyes as a pitcher on that high level of a stage.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
My idea of the perfect day is waking up late, grabbing bagels with my friends at Cape Cod Bagel, going to the beach and hanging out and swimming all day, and then getting French fries and mozzarella sticks while watching the sunset and wrapping the night up with Somerset Creamery.
What are your post high school plans?
I will be attending Fitchburg State University to study special education as well as doing the dual licensure program to attain my elementary education licensure along with special education. Along with that, I will be minoring in deaf studies in hopes of teaching hearing-impaired students.
Where will you be in 10 years, and what will you be doing?
I hope that I will have a teaching job in Falmouth that gives me the opportunity to coach high school softball and my hope is that I will be able to coach alongside my mom.