She’s certainly no louse, it’s Galhouse and she’s headed to D-II UT

NEXT SPARTAN – F.W. Springstead senior Mariah Galhouse recently signed a national letter of intent to play D-II softball with the University of Tampa. She’s flanked by her parents, stepmother Courtney, and father Matt.

SOFTBALL

The .455 career hitter

hit better than every

Eagle except for D-I Pfent

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

As a junior, playing for her third high school softball program in three seasons, Mariah Shay Galhouse, was just looking for a niche.

Mariah Galhouse

She was searching to fit in.

After arriving in Spring Hill – following stops at Pinellas Park and Wiregrass Ranch – the 5-foot-8, 160-pounder did just that: find a home.

In two seasons (2018-19), Galhouse enabled the Lady Eagles to post its fourth and fifth consecutive 20-win seasons – a new Hernando County fast-pitch softball standard.

In 2018, as a backup pitcher, but fulltime shortstop, Galhouse helped the Mariner Boulevard crew to its seventh district championship and a share of its sixth Hernando County championship alongside Hernando High.

In Springstead’s 24-5 campaign, offensively, Galhouse hit a solid .459.

The ultra-aggressive right-handed hitter swatted 45 hits in 29 tilts. She drove in 27 runs batted in.

Paige Pfent

That production included a county-leading 24 extra-bases hits. She led the local circuit in doubles (15), ranked second in triples (3) and finished runner-up in homeruns (6) to the D-I commit from the University of North Florida: Paige Pfent.

Defensively, her 55 assists tied NCT’s Alyssa Kelly for the county lead.

Kayla Cruz

On the mound, she pitched behind another UNF D-I commit, Kayla Cruz, and finished 7-1.

In a preview of coming attractions, Galhouse fanned 58 batters – against a skimpy nine walks – across 56 innings.

Her 0.62 earned run average served as the Lady Eagles’ lowest in 29 fast-pitch seasons.

A year later, despite opposing teams pitching around her – she led the circuit in walks (28) until the last week of the season when HHS’ Madyson Lamp finished with 30 – she hit a .448.

Of her 30 base hits, 14 went for extra-bases as she knocked in 21 RBI.

She finished second to Lamp in on-base percentage (.619) and second to Lamp in slugging percentage (.791).

In two short seasons at the plate, Galhouse hit .455.

Just how solid were those numbers?

Considering the 30-year fast-pitch history, only one other Eagle has hit higher than .455 – that was Pfent – perhaps the greatest power hitter ever from Hernando County.

Defensively, Galhouse remained a whiz inside the circle. For a second year in a row she led the local circuit with 47 assists.

Then there was her mound presence.

Ali Shenefield

While Ali Shenefield was shredding the pitching records on the Bell Avenue campus of Hernando High, Galhouse just plugged away in one of the toughest districts in the state of Florida.

When the curtains came down, SHS finished 20-7 as Galhouse led the Eagles to second place in the county race and the third seed in 6A-6.

On the mound, Galhouse finished 16-7 overall, dropping five 1-run games. Her other losses were 2-0 and 3-0.

She fanned an impressive 179 batters across 145 frames while issuing 19 free passes.

Kama Woodall
Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Her 0.72 earned run average edged another SHS D-I commit, North Carolina State’s Kama Woodall’s 0.73 ERA across 153 frames in 2017.

Woodall’s two-year ERA of 0.75 now ranks second all-time to the Hernando County leader – Galhouse – at 0.70 ERA.

Despite losing to Class 6A state runner-up Crystal River three times – all by one run – Galhouse eventually de-committed from attending D-II Saint Leo University in San Antonio to signing with the D-II University of Tampa Spartans.

Mariah Galhouse pitching vs Nature Coast.                                           Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Mariah was born in Pinellas Park as the oldest of six children to the extended modern family of Matt and (stepmother) Courtney Galhouse.

Mariah’s mother was a cheerleader for the Pinellas Park Patriots while her father played football.

Largo-Pinellas Park Patriots

The Galhouses’s have called Spring Hill home after relocating from Wesley Chapel.

Galhouse was actually raised on the dusty sandlots in Pinellas Park.

At 4 years old, she played Little League Softball there.

Two years hence, she recalls playing on her first travel ball softball team. She alternated between pitcher, second base and shortstop.

At Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School in Pinellas Park she served as a triple-sport threat.

In sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade, the raven-tressed and blue-eyed Galhouse participated in volleyball, basketball and track and field.

On the court, she alternated between point guard and small forward.

On the track oval, she concentrated on a variety of events including 100 meter hurdles, 200 meters and 1,600 meters.

After matriculating to PPHS, she gravitated to the softball team as a freshman.

Playing “with too much drama” Galhouse transferred schools to fledgling Wiregrass Ranch, where she played softball during her sophomore season.

She readily admits “my stats suffered” playing for the Bulls.

Upon enrolling at F.W. Springstead, she experienced a renaissance.

She was able to relax and just play her game in Spring Hill. After two seasons, area coaches were impressed enough for her to be named All-Hernando County twice.

She graduated with a 3.5 grade point average and shared that her favorite course was marine science at SHS.

Mariah Galhouse lunches a home run versus Nature Coast. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Favorite sport: softball

Despite a well-rounded athletic background, Galhouse doesn’t hesitate selecting softball as her favorite sport.

“Softball has always been a part of my family,” describes the 17-year-old. “The sport has just grown with me.”

“Pitching is the thing I’ve done the longest. I look at it as a normal, daily routine in my life.”

She enjoys hitting because, “You never know what you’re gonna do at the plate.”

Defensively, she doesn’t mind the vast responsibilities involved with anchoring shortstop.

Mariah Galhouse eases into third base just ahead of a throw for a first inning triple against Central High. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

“I love playing shortstop. I like to command the middle of the park. It’s good to know I have my pitcher’s back behind her,” she admitted.

Asked to explain her experience at Springstead, “I had better communication with the girls at Springstead,” declared Galhouse. “And the competition here was much better.

“… I remember at Pinellas Park, where I grew up, there were a lot of cliques and way too much drama. When I got here, I didn’t know anybody; it was like starting over.

“… I had a great two years here. I just wish we could’ve won a few more games while I was here,” lamented Galhouse.

Raquel Camuglia

On the difference between Pinellas Park and Wiregrass Ranch and Spring Hill, “I really enjoyed the energy level of the girls here especially during warm-ups. I’m lucky that my travel ball catcher, Raquel (Camuglia), is our catcher here. She always gives me pointers before the game.”

On what stood out during her senior campaign, “Oh, beating Hernando definitely did,” shared Galhouse on the Eagles‘ 3-0 win in Spring Hill backed by Jenna Ryan‘s two-run homer. “Senior Night (against Central) was emotional, but it was fun.

“… I remember us beating Sunlake in the pre-season game. That was a big deal, too.”

Rewinding her season, “I thought I improved in my pitching and my hitting,” noted Galhouse. “I remember how much I struggled with the bat at Wiregrass before I came here.

“Then when I got here, I was much better with my spins and my speed in the circle.”

Selecting the Spartans

Galhouse mulled over D-I offers to play in Georgia and at the University South Carolina Upstate.

She officially visited Mercer, St. Leo and UT before opting to stay close to home.

After de-committing from Saint Leo, she signed with UT, where she’ll be reunited with her pitching coach of the last 5½ years, Jaci Davis.

“I think we have a good connection between us,” shared Galhouse. “What she stressed to me was just try to get better every day.”

Currently, Galhouse is undecided on her major, though she’s leaning toward a possible career as a physical therapist.

“I’m very tight with my family. So playing closer to home made sense. D-I schools offer much bigger classroom sizes. I like the smaller D-II class sizes. It makes for a better rapport with the teachers.“

On what her biggest obstacle will be, “Well, I’ve got a good roommate. Because I’m a freshman, I won’t have a car on campus, but I’m close to home. I’m really looking forward to the experience. I think I’ll be okay.”

Before reporting to the Hillsborough County campus, Galhouse will stay in condition playing for her father’s team, the Hernando Hawks.

The Hawks feature Camuglia and recent SHS graduate Brooke Ayo on its roster.

On departing SHS with two school records, “I’m happy that played here and I did what I needed to do.”

She’s concentrating on honing her batting skills prior to reaching UT.

“I know I have to hit better at the next level,“ expressed Galhouse. “You’ve gotta know which pitches to lay off and more importantly, which pitches to swing at.”

On her playing time at UT, “I don’t plan on being just a pitcher,” noted Galhouse. “I’m gonna keep working hard playing other positions. We have to report by Aug. 28.“

Prior to departing Hernando County, “I want to be known as the girl who was told that I couldn’t make it as a softball player, recalled Galhouse. “But who’s playing college ball. I want to prove people wrong.”

By the Numbers:

Springstead’s Mariah Galhouse (2018-19)

– Compiled by TONY CASTRO

HITTING

Mariah Galhouse                                                                                         Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
 

YEAR

 

YR.

 

GP

 

AB

 

R

 

H

 

2B

 

3B

 

HR

 

RBI

 

.AVG

2018

11

29

98

44

45

15

3

6

27

.459

2019

12

27

67

37

30

8

3

3

21

.448

 

TOTALS

 

56

 

165

 

81

 

75

 

23

 

6

 

9

 

48

 

.455

PITCHING

Mariah Galhouse.                                                      Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
 

YEAR

 

AP

 

GS

 

CG

 

IP

 

H

 

R

 

ER

 

BB

 

KO

S

O

 

W

 

L

 

ERA

2018

13

8

6

56.0

39

18

5

9

58

3

7

1

0.62

2019

24

23

22

145.0

71

37

15

19

179

5

16

7

0.72#

 

TOTALS

 

37

 

31

 

28

 

201.0

 

110

 

55

 

20

 

28

 

237

 

8

 

23

 

8

 

0.70*#

* Denotes county leader. # Denotes school record.

DEFENSE

Springstead’s Mariah Galhouse throws to first base.                            Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
 

YEAR

 

TC

 

PO

 

A

 

ER

 

.PCT

 

DP

2018

91

28

55

8

.912

2

2019

56

6

47*

3

.946

1

 

TOTALS

 

147

 

34

 

102

 

11

 

.925

 

3

* Denotes county leader.

 

 

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