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Junior Eryn Sheeley is having a nice year at the plate while playing first base for the North Haven softball squad this spring. Eryn and the Indians recently finished their regular season with a record of 18-2. (Photo courtesy of Eryn Sheeley )
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Eryn Sheeley continues to get better and better on the softball field in her junior year at North Haven. Eryn and the Indians are primed for another playoff run following a regular season that saw the club go 18-2 and earn the top seed in the SCC Tournament. Eryn loves playing for the Indians and says that her teammates are some of her closest friends.
“I love being around them. We have a bond on and off the field, and it’s awesome being with them,” says Eryn. “Last year, we won our division and the SCC Tournament. We have a goal of winning states, and we all know if we can come together as a team and work together, we can accomplish that goal.”
Eryn has been primarily playing first base for North Haven after picking up the position only a year ago. Eryn focused on the fundamentals of first base, and now she’s a regular at that spot, as well as in the Indians’ lineup.
“I think I’m a utility player. I can go anywhere. I started picking up first base going into my sophomore year, because it was an open position,” Eryn says. “I wanted to get on the field any way I could. I learned it from my mom and dad helping me, plus my coaches at Diamond Zone.”
Eryn puts in plenty of work in order to improve in all areas of the game, including pitching. Eryn has experience as a pitcher and wants to contribute for the Indians on the hill next season. One way or the other, Eryn is constantly playing softball.
“I go to pitching two times a week, and I’m at Diamond Zone almost every day. I’m mostly doing something every day to keep myself going,” says Eryn, who also plays volleyball for North Haven. “Even if I’m just going to hit for 20 minutes, it’s a lot of work off the field.”
Head Coach Karen Castagnola is happy that Eryn’s commitment is paying dividends on the diamond this year. Castagnola believes that big things are in store for Eryn in her senior season, when she’s expected to pitch for the Indians.
“Eryn’s always working hard. She works all year-round,” says Castagnola. “Eryn is a huge part of our team with the bat and the glove. She’s ready to take this team on her back next year. She’s ready for the challenge, and I look forward to seeing her on the mound next year.”
Eryn has been tearing the cover off the ball as a key piece of North Haven’s formidable lineup. She’s slugging at a robust .471 clip and owns a .433 on-base percentage this season.
“When I go up to the plate, I really go up there with an open mind. I’m a pitcher, so I think about how I would approach the batter if it was me. If the pitch looks good enough, I’m going to swing,” Eryn says. “My coaches really do help me keep calm. If I strike out, they’re the first to tell me to shake it off and go out there and try my hardest again in my next at-bat.”
Eryn wants to compete at the next level like her older sister Jordyn, who is a collegiate athlete. Eryn knows that the support of everyone in her corner will help her get there.
“I do want to play in college. That’s one of my main goals. I worked very hard, and I have to keep pushing,” says Eryn. “It gives me a sense of I can be who I am. I’m able to go through this and have these experiences, and it’s awesome. I want to continue that, have fun, and continue this connection we all have.”
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