Ennis inks with North Central Missouri College

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Southwest senior softball player Kaleigh Ennis signed a national letter of intent to play next year ay North Central Missouri College (NCMC), in Trenton. Ennis, is pictured in the front row with her parents, Tammy and Jerry Ennis, and NCMC coach Megan Cairns. In the second row, from left, are: Tony Eagleburger, Southwest softball coach and Kenny Ferguson, Southwest athletic director. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

For the last two seasons, Kaleigh Ennis, a transfer from Exeter has been a steady force for the Southwest girls softball team.

Ennis' dedication and love for the game paid off with a scholarship to play at North Central Missouri College in Trenton.

"I'm nervous and excited," she said. "I am nervous about being so far away from home, but excited about the opportunity to continue my playing career."

Ennis began playing organized softball when she was six years old. It wasn't long until her enjoyment escalated into passion.

"I love the team aspect," Ennis said. "You realized you aren't just playing for yourself but for everyone around you. I have always loved the adrenaline run I get every time I take the field."

Transferring from Exeter after her sophomore season, Ennis became one of the most seasoned players and a leader on Southwest's squad.

"Her junior year, she let her play be the example," said Tony Eagleburger, Southwest softball coach. "This year, she took the next speaking up when we needed a vocal leader."

Eagleburger thinks that Ennis has the tools to succeed at the next level.

"She is a natural at first base," Eagleburger said. "Because of our needs, we had to use her in the pitching circle, and she did great. Her stats are deceiving when you factor in how young we were as a team. I think the fact she is going to college validates a lot of her hard work."

In two seasons with the Lady Trojans, Ennis was 15-20 as a pitcher with a 3.12 ERA. She hit .336 with a .432 slugging percentage and led the team in extra base hits.

"It will be hard to replace her pitching, defense, and offense for us at Southwest," said Eagleburger."She brought a lot to the table. I think Kaleigh has a lot of potential and upside at the next level. I believe she will have a good collegiate career."

Ennis chose North Central over Central Methodist University and Missouri Valley.

"When I went on my campus visit I really felt at home," Ennis said. "I like the coaching staff and I think I will fit in with the team."

The Lady Pirates are coached by second-year skipper Megan Cairns, who has high expectations for Ennis on and off the field.

"We are building a well-rounded program and Kaleigh fits our mold," said Cairns. "She complements our pitching staff really well and has a great shot to take over at first base."

Cairns expects Ennis to growth as a person, player and student and help bring a winning tradition to the college.

Ennis is the daughter of Jerry and Tammy Ennis of Exeter.

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