SP Leighty inks with Shawnee State

Published 4:22 am Thursday, May 14, 2009

SOUTH POINT — First, Ericka Leighty set up her college future. Next she plans to set up the Shawnee State softball team.

With 80 career stolen bases for the South Point Lady Pointers, Shawnee State head coach Ralph Cole sees Leighty setting the tone for his offense.

“She makes an ideal table setter. You don’t want to sacrifice with your number three hitter,” said Cole. “She has so much speed and enthusiasm and a passion for the game. We see her leading off and stealing bases.”

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Leighty likes how her style of play fits into the Shawnee State plans.

“It’s going to be a challenge. I see my role as being able to get on base and run and be a table setter,” said Leighty.

She said there is no secret to how she approaches her job once she gets on base.

“I just try to get on base. I’m really anxious and I try to run really fast,” said Leighty.

While Leighty has played shortstop for South Point, Cole said she will get a chance at several positions depending on what the Lady Bears need.

“Our plans with her are open,” said Cole. “She has a shot at infield and a shot at centerfield. She fits the bill at shortstop and second base, probably more at second base.”

Leighty knows she has a chance to play early in her career, but she isn’t taking anything for granted.

“I’m going to work hard to play at (the college) level,” said Leighty. “You have to adjust to it, but no matter where you play it’s all an adjustment.”

Versatility is nothing new for Leighty. She not only played volleyball and basketball, she is also a standout on the track team.

South Point head coach Steve Baise had nothing but praise for Leighty.

“Ericka is a great player, but she’s a great kid, too. She loves to play the game and she’ll do a great job for Shawnee,” said Baise.

Leighty, who is undecided on a major, is the daughter of Pete and Tina Leighty.