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From softball to filmmaking; Emerson’s senior pitcher takes on a new project
Emerson pitcher, Neely Eddleston, is hoping to finish off her softball career after a shortened junior year, last season. (Rebecca Strauss/Emerson)

From softball to filmmaking; Emerson’s senior pitcher takes on a new project

BOSTON (BVM) — Senior year for a collegiate athlete is always difficult. For most, it means the end of their playing career and their last game as a player. This year though, with the uncertainty of the global pandemic, there’s a chance that Neely Eddleston already played her last game for the Emerson College softball team and she didn’t even know.

“It made me really nervous this year to not think of having a season, because I don’t want to think that the last time I played softball was actually two years ago, and I didn’t know and I didn’t take advantage of that.” Eddleston said on a call last Friday.

The Cape Cod native has been playing softball since she was 4-years-old and began pitching at the age of 8. 

“My dad actually played baseball so I think he really pushed for me and my sister to get into softball… my dad just really wanted an athlete,” Eddleston said with a slight chuckle.

Until her junior year of high school, Eddleston didn’t think much about playing in college. That year, Eddleston competed in a Boston area tournament and was approached by Phil McElroy, coach of the Emerson College softball team for the last 20 years, and introduced Eddleston to the college’s Visual Media Arts (VMA) program. 

Emerson College’s VMA major covers all things film and television. Hollywood and filmmaking is an industry Eddleston has been interested in almost as long as she’s played softball. Growing up going to the theatre, Eddleston learned about the power of film. From classics like “Titanic” to more modern stories like “Gone Girl,” Eddleston is aware of the impact a movie can have on people. 

“My first memories are of going to the theatre with my family,” Eddleston said. “I’ve always had a good time at the theatre.”

At this moment, Eddleston knows the spring softball season isn’t guaranteed to her. To fill the time and keep the worry away, Eddleston is producing a fellow Emersonian’s capstone film. The project involves a host of new experiences for Eddleston. Sunshine State of Mind is a documentary focusing on “the lives of Floridian workers whose livelihoods share a close but dangerous bond with the natural world,” according to the film’s Facebook page. 

“I have not [worked on a documentary] but I really enjoy watching documentaries so I thought ‘why not?’” Eddleston said.

As the producer, Eddleston is part of everything going on with the film, including going down to Florida with three crew members to interview fishermen and others affected by climate change. 

As for what to watch until the documentary comes out, Eddleston spent her quarantine watching all of “The Vampire Diaries” with her family. 

“It’s a trainwreck, but you have to watch it,” Eddelston said.

Eddleston wants to have her senior season of softball, but knows it depends a lot on factors she can’t control. Right now all she can ask of people is to stay safe and wear a mask so that in the spring she can pitch one more season.

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