Leighanne Eaton has found the perfect home for the next part of her softball career.
Wanting to stay close to home, Eaton visited the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma. Right away, the Chickasha senior knew that the school in Chickasha was the place for her once she graduates high school.
Eaton was one of three Chickasha seniors to sign a national letter of intent to Science & Arts last week. She joined Allyson Arthur and Allison Couch.
“I’m so glad I get to continue my career with two of my best friends,” Eaton said. “We have played softball together since we were 10, and now we will continue our careers together.”
Getting to play softball in the same town where she has had so much success is a big deal for Eaton. She also gets to play for head coach Jadyn Wallis, who made Eaton feel like family.
“Whenever I went on my visit, it automatically felt like home,” Eaton said. “I also didn’t want to go very far from home … so it was a great option.
“Right when I met Jadyn, she welcomed me with open arms, and it felt like family. I knew from the start of my recruiting process I wanted that feeling, and she gave it to me.”
For athletes who have been playing a sport as long as Eaton has been playing softball, getting to this point is a dream come true. It is a dream that has taken a ton of time and hard work to fulfill.
“It means everything to me. It’s a feeling that is hard to describe,” Eaton said. “I have spent countless hours at lessons, camps, tournaments and made a lot of sacrifices to be where I’m at today, and it has finally paid off.”
All of the hard work in the sport has led to Eaton making new friends from across the softball world. She also said that it has helped with the maturation process.
“I love that softball has introduced me to new people all around the state [and] has taught me life lessons,” Eaton said. “It made me mature faster than other kids my age.
“I love that softball is a mental game. Softball tests you in how strong you are mentally and how you will bounce back from a slump. You can either stay in the slump and pout about it, or you can move forward and just keep going.”
And the Drovers are getting a player with a career filled with accomplishments, including several honors from a strong senior season. Throughout her career, Eaton earned All-District and All-Region honors.
She got named to the Middle West All-State team as a senior, and she ended her senior season as the District 4A-4 Player of the Year. She has loved her time playing for Chickasha softball.
“My career at Chickasha was better than I could’ve asked for,” Eaton said. “Although we never got to where we wanted to end at, we always had a good time.
"We were definitely a family, and at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have chosen another team to spend my high school career with.”