School finds softball star in Eichaker

BY JAMIE SOKOLIK, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT

The average girl in her senior year of high school is worried about having a date for the Prom, keeping up her GPA and where she’s going to go to college in the fall. Luckily for Lindsay Eichaker, she’s not the average senior.

Eichaker attends Parkway Central High School, where she pitches for its women’s softball team. She loves it, and she’s good at it: this season, she threw Parkway Central’s first no-hitter in women’s softball history.

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When she was four years old, her older sister, Lauren, began playing softball. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do anyway, so whatever she did, I tried it,” Eichaker said. For her sister, the love of the game fizzled. For Lindsay, it’s still going strong.

When she first began playing softball, Eichaker played second base.

“I loved being able to hit and field and throw,” she said. But, when she was nine years old, she was sitting in the door of the dugout and her dad, Cantor Ron Eichaker of United Hebrew, was standing next to her.

All of the sudden she realized she wanted to try pitching, and she mentioned it to her dad. “It was kind of a nonchalant thing that started it,” she said. Eichaker tried pitching, and once again fell in love. “Personally, I love pitching more than the game now,” she says.

But Eichaker wasn’t always recognized as the great player she is. She had to fight for the reputation she now has as an excellent pitcher.

“I’m not the biggest person out there, not the most muscular. I’m not very scary.” she said. For years she felt that her hard work was not getting her anywhere and that she wasn’t getting the attention she deserved.

She stuck with it, and eventually got noticed in the way she wanted.

Lindsay helped her high school team win nationals last year. She pitched the last inning with a tying run on second base. And people finally began to take notice. “Everyone’s kinda going, ‘Oh wow! She’s cool!'”

Since that game, Eichaker has accomplished many things. Last year she earned first team all-district, all-conference, and all-region.

She broke five school records including the single season strike out record, single game strike out record, least team walks, least walks in a game, and the career strike out record. She also made Parkway Central High School history when she pitched the first no-hitter he school has ever had.

Although Eichaker truly loves the game, the honors, wins and recognition come with a price.

She turns down many opportunities that most teenagers take for granted. Invitations to parties, sleepovers, even going to the movies the night before a game must be sacrificed.

“It’s just a job I have to do,” she said. “Every year my dad says, ‘You can quit.’ I say, ‘Well, that means I could quit breathing, too.”

For Eichaker, the sacrifice is more than worth it. “Knowing you worked so hard for this one moment and it actually paid off is the best feeling in the world,” she said.

When Eichaker thinks of her teammates, the sacrifice doesn’t seem as hard to make, “I do it as much for me as I do for the rest of the team,” she said.

But, some of the typical teenage stuff does creep in, even for a dedicated player like Eichaker. She has a verbal contract with Maryville University to play softball for them next year.

She plans on applying to their physical therapy program — something that has been a dream for her since her freshman year of high school when she tore a muscle in her shoulder and had to participate in physical therapy. “I had to rehab for six weeks before I could even pick up a glove again,” she said. Two years ago she heard about Maryville’s physical therapy program and has been set on it ever since.

Eichaker also enjoys her creative writing class. In her spare time she plays the piano and the guitar and goes to movies with her boyfriend. She’s also a self-proclaimed ‘computer nerd’ who loves music. She combines these two passions by putting videos of her friends and herself to music to make homemade music videos.

Although she loves her hobbies, at the end of the day, Lindsay is a pitcher. She loves being in the middle of everything and having all the spectator’s eyes on her.

“The ball always comes back to me,” she said. “I have control over whether or not they hit it. I just think that’s the coolest thing in the world.”season strike out record, single game strike out record, least team walks, least walks in a game, and the career strike out record. She also made Parkway Central High School history when she pitched the first no-hitter he school has ever had.

Although Eichaker truly loves the game, the honors, wins and recognition come with a price.

She turns down many opportunities that most teenagers take for granted. Invitations to parties, sleepovers, even going to the movies the night before a game must be sacrificed.

“It’s just a job I have to do,” she said. “Every year my dad says, ‘You can quit.’ I say, ‘Well, that means I could quit breathing, too.”

For Eichaker, the sacrifice is more than worth it. “Knowing you worked so hard for this one moment and it actually paid off is the best feeling in the world,” she said.

When Eichaker thinks of her teammates, the sacrifice doesn’t seem as hard to make, “I do it as much for me as I do for the rest of the team,” she said.

But, some of the typical teenage stuff does creep in, even for a dedicated player like Eichaker. She has a verbal contract with Maryville University to play softball for them next year.

She plans to apply to Maryville’s physical therapy program — something that has been a dream for her since her freshman year of high school when she tore a muscle in her shoulder and had to participate in physical therapy. “I had to rehab for six weeks before I could even pick up a glove again,” she said. Two years ago she heard about Maryville’s physical therapy program and has been set on it ever since.

Eichaker also enjoys her creative writing class. In her spare time she plays the piano and guitar and is a self-proclaimed “computer nerd” who loves music.

Although she loves her hobbies, at the end of the day, Lindsay is a pitcher. She loves being in the middle of everything and having all the spectator’s eyes on her.

“The ball always comes back to me,” she said. “I have control over whether or not they hit it. I just think that’s the coolest thing in the world.”