EDWARDSVILLE - Civic Memorial softball player Bryleigh Ward emerged as a key part of the Eagles' girls' softball lineup this past spring, being described as a second leadoff hitter who can reach base and hits the ball hard, putting it in play at key moments.
One highlight was early in the season when Ward smashed a game-tying two-run homer in the top of the fifth in CM's win at Edwardsville 6-4 on April 3, which is a signature win for the program over one of the best teams in both the Metro-East and St. Louis area.
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Ward is also an honors student at Civic Memorial. For her efforts both on and off the field, Ward has been named a CM Tom Lane State Farm Female Athlete of the Month.
Ward said the Eagles' team came a long way in 2023, especially from 2022, and she thinks the whole team worked hard since November of 2022 for the success this past spring.
"We got off to a really early start and I'm just really proud of the team," she said.
Ward had a great feeling when she saw her game-tying shot clear the left-field fence over the Tigers in one of her highlights of a strong season.
"[That] definitely brought back my confidence a lot, and just really a proud moment, yeah," she said with a smile.
To take a win over Edwardsville, especially on the road, is a big moment for the Eagles and their program.
Ward agreed, adding: "It definitely gave us a lot of confidence."
Ward is looking ahead to her role with the Eagles softball team in 2024.
Ward said some of the most important factors of her game are "just keeping my confidence up. Then for the team, I just think staying together. We definitely came together as a team this past year and I think we will again next year. I'm really proud of that."
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