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Homeowner upset after foul baseballs fly into her home

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CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. – Baseballs are flying out of the Wabash College baseball fields and into a nearby neighborhood.

Martha Shear is getting a little bit of a break from baseball season because of the pandemic, but prior to the outbreak, told CBS4 she was fed up with all the damage her house has sustained from foul balls.

“Sixteen baseballs,” she exclaimed. “That’s last season’s crop!”

Shear lives across the street from the baseball field and says for the last two seasons, dozens of basballs have slammed into her roof and siding. A contractor reportedly came out and did an estimate, saying it would cost $4,000 to repair her shingles.

Shear said she has also witnessed close calls. In one instance, a baseball nearly hit a car passing through the area. In 2019, a baseball nearly hit her husband while he was sitting on the porch.

CBS4 emailed Wabash College multiple times asking if there was any kind of potential resolution. Officials wouldn’t go on camera but sent two statements.

“Wabash College is serious about the safety of its players, coaches, fans, and neighbors in all of its athletics venues, including Goodrich Ballpark. The College continues to look for ways to further improve safety,” the school said.

When CBS4 asked for further clarification, how the college was planning to improve safety, it responded:

“We have heard the concerns raised by a homeowner and have made some adjustments, including the use of a hitting tunnel during batting practice.”

Shear said the hitting tunnel is not used during games, though, which is when a lot of the baseballs end up in her yard.

“What is it going to take?” she asked.

She is now calling on Wabash to reimburse her for the damage. Wabash College reps ended the conversation, saying they are willing to speak with the homeowner directly.

CBS4 reached out to every single Crawfordsville city councilor but only heard back from one. Councilor Kent Priebe promised to investigate the situation. By the time the town’s mayor responded, the COVID-19 pandemic had taken priority and he was working to address the outbreak. Mayor Todd Barton confirmed Wabash had cancelled its baseball season and shut down its facilities. He said he would be glad to “facilitate a discussion when things return to some sense of normalcy.”

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