By PAUL HINES
Maegan Eskew has been the ace pitcher for the Lady Spartans softball team the last several years.
The senior signed with Kaskaskia College on Tuesday.
“Ever since her freshman year, she’s been our pitching,” Waltonville softball coach Colene Stanley said. “Especially her senior year, now she’s our only pitcher again this year. Without her, we could possibly fall apart. So she is the glue that holds the whole team together offensively and defensively.”
Eskew is a key cog in the middle of the Lady Spartans’ order. The top of the order tries to get on base, and Eskew is responsible for driving them in.
“She gets on base a lot herself, a lot of on-base percentage,” Stanley said. “And then she’s also a good base runner. She’s good. She’s smart. She’s quick. She knows when to go.”
Kaskaskia has been interested in Eskew since her sophomore season after seeing her pitch against Mattoon.
“They came and watched me, and they showed interest in me,” Eskew said. “And (coach Torey Crowell) has always helped me out, made me feel like it was home to be there.”
Eskew pitched the Lady Spartans into the regional final against rival Woodlawn. The Lady Cardinals rallied late against Waltonville for a 4-2 win. Eskew threw a complete game and finished with three strikeouts. The senior said she will use the loss as motivation this season.
“It was hard losing against Woodlawn, especially them being a big rival,” Eskew said. “It motivates me to be better this year.”
Stanley added she has high expectations for Eskew entering her final season.
“All the pitchers know she’s a good hitter so they’re going to know how to pitch for her to ground out and pop up,” Stanley said. “So she’s going to have to make those adjustments in order to hit the bombs and the line drives that she’s been doing in the past.”
Waltonville was 11-16 last season.