ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Chippewa Falls senior Gillian Schaller

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Chippewa Falls softball team is off to an 8-3 start in 2017, and they've been putting up some gaudy offensive numbers. Right in the middle of the madness, Gillian Schaller. The senior third baseman is hitting .606, with eight home runs and has driven in 33 runs. Gillian Schaller is our Osseo Automotive Athlete of the Week.

When it comes to softball, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree in the Schaller household.

"I don't know," Schaller exclaimed. "We all just love it so much. Yeah, it's a family thing."

Gillian is the third of three sisters to pass through the Chippewa Falls softball program. First was Evie, one of the best power hitters the Big Rivers Conference has seen in recent memory. Then Deanie, the fiery middle child who wore her passion on her sleeve and gave it all each and every play.

"It's pretty cool to be apart of that," Schaller said. "I'm just trying to do my best to keep the tradition going I suppose."

"All three of them have carried on the Schaller tradition and name," Chippewa Falls senior Bailee Sillman said. "Yeah, I think they're a huge part of the program."

"They're all really good players, and with them being good players, they have all took on the leadership role, just being able to lead by example," Chippewa Falls senior Kailey Dresel added.

So far, so good. Gillian has succeeded any pressure of being a Schaller. But it hasn't come without a few comparisons along the way.

"You know, 'are you going to be as good as your older sister?' I just think it's pretty cool because that makes me want to work harder and make my last year the best," Schaller said.

And while all three share similarities, Gillian's ability to hit the long ball is reminiscent to one sister in particular.

"Her and Evie just remind me so much of each other," Sillman said. "Their personalities, the way the swing the bat, they're incredibly similar."

"Yeah, she was definitely a person I looked up to," Schaller added. "We always have competitions because we're so alike. Who can it the most home runs? Who can throw the fastest? Stuff like that."

It's funny that she mentioned home runs because Gillian has hit 8 already this season and is on pace to break Chippewa Falls' single-season record of 17 - held by none other than her sister, Evie.

"I don't really think about that too often because I don't want it to mess up my mindset, but it would be definitely cool to either tie it up or beat it by one run," Schaller said laughingly.

No matter what happens, it's safe to say the Schaller name will hold the record, but by which sister? We'll have to wait and see.

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