EATON — Coming off its best season in nearly a decade, Eaton’s softball team is looking to build upon that success under third-year coach Maggie Neanen.
The Eagles were 17-8 a year ago and reached the sectional final for the first time in more than a decade.
“As usual, our expectations for the season are to compete for championships, last year we had a taste of what it feels like going deep into the tournament, our hopes for this season are to get back there and go further,” Neanen said. “Our team has a lot of energy and passion for the game and loves to compete, we are very excited to see where the season takes us, expectations are set high and we hope to achieve all of them.”
Eaton returns eight players (six starters) from last year’s team, including seniors Grace Miller and Kathryn Madewell.
In addition to Miller and Madewell, also back are junior Bailee Worley (SS), sophomore Logan Unger (2B), sophomore pitcher Annika Gels, sophomore catcher Becca Mowen, and sophomore centerfielder Emily Dungan.
“Our lineup, like last year, will be very young but all have gained a year of varsity competition last year as freshman. Our starting lineup is adding two freshmen into the mix with Bailey Shepherd in left field and Ashley Earley at 3rd base,” Neanen said.
Other newcomers include sophomores Alysa Sorrell, Quinlynn Sittloh and Ashlynn Black, new coming freshman also include Rilee Worley and Cara Fowler.
Eaton opened the season going 5-1 during the first week.
The Eagles swept Ansonia 7-1 and 12-1 on Saturday, March 25.
Some early season highlights include Bailee Worley hitting her first career home run to start the first game off at Ansonia — she ended up going 6-for-9 on the day.
In the second game, Gels hit her first career home run, going 5-for-8 on the day — in the circle she pitched 12 innings, allowing seven hits, striking out 14, and with one walk.
The Eagles began league play with a come-from-behind 7-6 win over Bellbrook on Monday, March 27, before falling to Bellbrook 8-6 in 8-innings, on Wednesday, March 29.
Eaton swept Coldwater on Saturday, winning game one, 6-2 and taking the second game, 12-1 in 5-innings.
“In the first Bellbrook game, a highlight from that is our ability to not give up when we were down and Grace Miller hit a 3-run home run to give us the lead 7-6 — that was also her first career home run,” Neanen said.
Eaton was scheduled to host defending SWBL champion Franklin on Monday and was scheduled to travel to Arcanum on Tuesday. The Eagles are to pay a visit to Franklin on Wednesday and Tippecanoe on Thursday before closing out the week with a doubleheader at Twin Valley South on Saturday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH