Brianna Eichbaum, a player for Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City, Ohio, will also be vying for a spot as a utility player on next year’s roster. Last season Eichbaum carried a 1.02 earned run average and batted .392.
She was named all-league and all-state. The mathematics major is the class president and considered Otterbein, Urbana, Mount Union and Bowling Green before signing the letter of intent with the Lady Flames.
“I wanted to attend a Christian college with a great softball team,” said Eichbaum when asked about selecting Lee. “I fell in love with the location and all the academic, athletic and spiritual qualities Lee had to offer.
“I hope to start and play, and have a low ERA and a high batting average,” she added. “I want to be a positive influence on all my teammates and help our team be extremely successful.”
Leigh Taylor Beatenbough played at Franklin County High School, Carnesville, Ga., and summer ball for the Georgia Impact squad. She recorded a 1.57 ERA last season and batted .425 with 42 RBIs.
A member of Franklin’s 8AAA region championship team in 2013 and an Elite 8 finish in the state tournament, Beatenbough is a three-time all-region and two-time all-state performer. She was also the 2012 8AAA Pitcher of the Year; 2013 Player of the Year; and a winner of her team’s gold glove and MVP awards.
“I was looking for a university with a great Christian atmosphere and a successful softball program where I would fit in. I have found that in Lee,” she pointed out.
A pre-med major who plans to pursue a career in the medical field, Beatenbough is an honor student with a 4.0 GPA. She is a member of the Beta Club, Healthcare Pathway and Credential Honor Core.
“I want to continue to grow in my walk with God,” she noted when asked about her goals. “I want to pursue a degree in pre-med, while making a positive impact playing softball.”
Said coach Russell, “Leigh and Bri are both very talented athletes. They have a great competitive fire and we are thrilled to have them join the program.
“Leigh has been a driving force for her Franklin County team and led her team (Georgia Impact) in the PGF Nationals last August against the best competition in the country,” commented the Lee coach. “She is a strong pitcher and hitter and we look for her to see mound time immediately. She is a gifted student as well. She will come into her freshman year with over 30 credit hours. We are fortunate to have a player like Leigh coming in, and she fits perfectly with our team chemistry. The girls were drawn to her at camp and during her visit.”
Russell and her coaching staff were also immediately impressed with Eichbaum.
“Bri came to a summer camp and we felt that she would be a great fit for us. She impressed the staff with her skills and abilities in all aspects of her game. She is a very hard worker and is pushing herself to reach her top athletic abilities. We are excited to have her next year as she can pitch, play outfield, and is a strong hitter. She has a lot of potential to be a big impact player for us.
“We will be adding to this class during the regular signing period as well,” Russell explained.