Pre-season has officially begun for the Lady Eagles softball team. This past weekend they traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada to play in the College of Southern Nevada Classic Tournament. Throughout the weekend the girls faced Chandler-Gilbert Community College, No. 19 Eastern Arizona College, Glendale Community College, Arizona Western College, and No. 9 Central Arizona College. After a long weekend, and a game going into extra innings, the Eagles were able to walk away with a perfect record. Kalsey Lopes had two home runs and three doubles on the weekend. Brinnley Anderson, Brinley Johnson, and Graciee Christiansen also had a home run each. Many other Eagles tallied extra-base hits to power Eastern through the weekend.
While the Eagles have a bunch of young talent, their sophomore pitchers helped out tremendously in the last five games with a combined total of 23 innings pitched from the sophomores, and 10 innings from the young freshman. Transfer pitcher, Lexi Butterfield, threw 11 of the 33 innings at the CSN Classic. “One of the reasons I chose Eastern was because of the softball program,” said Butterfield. “The team has been very welcoming, and I feel like I am able to talk to any of the girls when I need to. We are all able to work as a team and I love that!” Lexi was able to clench six strikeouts, as well as Preslee Christensen walking away with 14. Brinley Johnson and Paige Shumway also had eight and two, respectively, on the weekend. The Eagles pitching staff worked hard to keep a 3.70 earned run average.
Central Arizona gave the Eagles a run for their money. Going into the seventh inning, the score was 2-4 for Central. That was until freshman Alex Deming stepped to the plate and pushed two runs across to tie the game. “Honestly, knowing I needed to get a base hit and do a job for my team kept me really calm and focused,” said Deming. “I have always loved being in high pressure situations, so I felt very confident walking up to the plate.”
Going into the 8th inning Central scored a run, and managed to get the bases loaded with two outs. Brinley Johnson entered the game from the bullpen.
“I was filled with excitement as well as all of the nerves of going into a situation like that,” said Johnson. “The only thing I was thinking as I walked out there is what Kalsey told me earlier, ‘Trust it and stay out of your head. You got this’. I knew I had a great defense behind me.” Brinley was able to get the last out on her own and bring the Eagles into the Nest for their final at bat where they were able to pull off the win.
This upcoming weekend will be the Lady Eagles final preseason tournament in Yuma, Arizona. With six games coming up, four of which will be against teams they have already faced.