DARKE COUNTY – Some of Darke County’s spring sports teams have got off to great starts to the season, which can be largely attributed to their senior leaders.
Both the Arcanum baseball and softball teams have started strong and have seniors leading the charge.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Arcanum softball player Erija Nealeigh and Arcanum baseball player Mitch Brown.
Through Wednesday, Nealeigh was 8-0 as a pitcher with 57 strikeouts on the season. She has had great control of her pitches, Arcanum softball coach Rick Stone said, which helped the Lady Trojans get off to a great start to the season.
Nealeigh enjoys the pressure put on her as a pitcher and wants to be a leader, Stone said.
“She has that warrior mentality,” Stone said. “She wants the ball every game.”
The Trojan senior also is having a strong season batting as she is hitting .333 on the year.
“She’s having a tremendous season,” Stone said. “She’s showing great leadership out there.”
Brown is a four-year starter for the Trojans at short stop and was the team’s leadoff hitter for the past three years before dropping down to the No. 2 spot in the order this season. He has started every game at short stop the past four years, except for games when he’s pitching.
“That’s hard to do here,” Arcanum baseball coach Randy Baker said about Brown being a four-year starter. “He’s got pretty good talent, especially starting at short stop.”
So far this season Brown is hitting .333 with six RBIs. He puts the ball in play and is very fast, Baker said.
“Once he gets on base, he’s a hand full,” Baker said.
The Trojan senior sets a great example for the rest of the team to follow, Baker said.
“Great leader on our team, pleasure to coach,” Baker said. “He works just as hard at practice as he does in a game, and he’s done that since he was a freshman.”