Local Sports

Eads stars in Shelbyville's 7-2 win over Jennings County

First-year Shelbyville softball head coach Megan Leffler knows she can win a lot of games this season just by turning the ball over to senior pitcher Cheyenne Eads. But with six games on the schedule this week, the Golden Bears will have to find ways to win games without Eads’ dominant presence in the circle.

On Saturday, Eads overpowered Jennings County from the circle and in the batter’s box. The University of Indianapolis commit tossed a three-hitter while striking out 14 Panthers and she had four hits including a double and her first home run of the season to lead Shelbyville to a 7-2 victory.

“She is not showing it but she is holding on to a lot pressure,” said Leffler, a former hitting pitcher during her high school career. “I am just telling her to relax and enjoy your senior year.”



Shelbyville (2-0) started slow Saturday morning against Marian softball commit Mackenzie Matern. The senior allowed single runs in the first and third innings while battling Eads, who was racking up strikeouts.

The Golden Bears scored in the first on back-to-back doubles by Eads and Addie Stieneker. In the third, Eads singled and Addysyn Wettrick was thrown out at home trying to score from second base. Eads advanced on the play at home and the throw from the catcher sailed into the outfield which allowed Eads to score and make it 2-0.

Jennings County (2-2) got single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Matern stole home in the fourth after starting the inning hit by a pitch. Emma Clapp doubled to start the fifth and eventually scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.

Shelbyville responded in the fifth with a Wettrick single. She scored on Destiney Johnson’s sacrifice fly.

Eads’ two-run home run chased Matern from the pitcher’s circle in the sixth. She already allowed an Anna Shearer home run to start the inning and Hailey Maulden scored on a Kali Laycock double.

Eads has allowed four hits and four walks while striking out 24 in her first two appearances this season, including a 6-0 win Tuesday at Seymour.

“I was pretty impressed (Tuesday). As always, first game I was nervous but I think I was probably more nervous than the kids,” said the former Megan Cory, a 2011 Shelbyville graduate who was an assistant coach with the Golden Bears prior to her promotion. “The energy this year is a little bit different, I think, in a great way. Today, I think the fans saw it. We were loud. We were happy no matter what happened. I think they all believe in each other.”

Leffler knows the schedule gets tougher in week two with Bloomington North coming to town Tuesday and a trip Thursday to Columbus North followed by the two-day Castle Invitational Friday and Saturday in Evansville where the Golden Bears will face a strong northern Illinois team Friday in Lincoln Way Central, two more pool play games Saturday morning against Evansville North and Bedford North Lawrence before a to-be-determined Saturday afternoon finale.

“I am still trying to figure that out,” laughed Leffler when asked how she will handle that schedule. “We definitely will have to see some different people out in the field and figure it all out. We’ve been running different situations at practice so I think the girls are prepared to be thrown into a spot they are maybe not the most comfortable in.”

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