Ahead of state softball championships appearance, Eustis pitcher named Athlete of the Week

By Zach Aldridge, Spectrum Sports
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 17, 2017

In their two biggest games of the season to date Delaney Heaberlin stepped into the circle and stepped up. Two complete games, just one run given up and 15 strikeouts to send Eustis to Vero Beach for the 5A state championships.

“She just owned the mound,” Eustis head coach Brittany Beall said. “She hit her spots when she needed to hit her spots, her composure and her body language and response was really what we needed for that game.”

Two games like that is nothing new for the sophomore. Delaney is 23-1 on the season with a 0.70 ERA while averaging over 6 strikeouts a game. But she’s quick to point out and acknowledge the strong team behind her.

“I knew that I had to come out strong and pitch well,” the sophomore pitcher said. “But even when I’m not pitching well I know that every single girl on this field has my back and that’s really good to know that as a pitcher even when I’m not on my game they’re always there for me.”

Coach Beall has yet to tell Delaney if she’ll get the start in the circle on Friday when the Panthers take on Hardee. But Delaney says she definitely wants the ball, as for the pitching on the big stage?

“It’s a lot of pressure,” she said. “But I know I can handle it because we’ve been put in a lot of pressure situations this season, so I think we’ll do good.”

“I just need for her to hit her spots,” said Beall. “And just trust her defense and not to be too uptight. Because this is our first state series, so there’s going to be a lot of jitters and emotions going into the game, so if we keep her under control and confident I think she’ll be successful.”

Success is something all of Eustis is hoping for as they attempt to make school history at Historic Dodgertown.

“Ah goodness,” Heaberlin said. “It would be amazing to get a win on Friday, so it’s just going to be an exciting ride.”