By Tyler Melvin, Staff Writer
The women’s softball team at East Central is coming off a successful 2021 campaign and heading into ’22 with a refreshed roster. The team placed second in the DII regional tournament to close out their previous season with a 23-15-1 record.
With a ratio of eleven Freshmen to two Sophomores, the team has quite a few new faces. Third baseman Emma Weston is one of them. She took the time to answer a few questions about her experience as a student athlete.
Emma will wear number 27 for the Falcons, and projects to start at third base. She previously wore number 17 as a high schooler. Her earliest memories of softball come from when she was eight years old, playing with the neighbor kids. Emma’s parents took notice of her love for the game and soon after signed her up for club tryouts.
By high school, she was among the best players in her community. Selected to the Varsity team in all four years of high school, Emma captained her team in her final two at Ursuline Academy. It was her senior year in which her greatest achievement as an athlete occurred; Emma was selected for first team all-state honors. This feat along with several all-district, conference, and regional selections helped secure an athletic scholarship to attend East Central College.
It’s worth pointing out the type of overall talent we have participating in ECC athletic programs, especially softball. Amongst DII schools like ECC, only the top 20% of high schoolers are selected to play for their college teams. As spectators, we’re privileged to watch the Upper echelon of student athletes represent our school.
Coming off an odd season in which Covid diminished everything, spectator attendance was limited. Emma was asked why students should come watch the team play this year. She described just how appreciative of fan-support her team is, saying, “The more fans, the better! [You] should come watch because it’s fast paced and fun. There’s never a dull moment.” According to Weston, “Having a large fanbase gets everyone pumped up. [A packed house creates] an energy and atmosphere that can’t be described. It gives us more reason to win.”
Athletic Director, Dr. Jay Mehrhoff also passed along some preemptive promotional events for the upcoming season. “Flank the Field” is a Student Spirit Promo in which fans in attendance will enjoy food, themed t-shirts, and can even participate in a raffle. In addition, the school’s partnership with Taco Bell has led to a promo night titled, “Ring the Bell.” The festivity, of course, will include tacos along with the game.
Aside from supporting the athletes, ECC softball games are worthwhile for the entertainment factor alone. In a game that can sometimes drag on at the professional level, the Lady Falcons Softball team plays an entertaining brand of the sport. Last season’s team posted a .300 team batting average and .375 On Base Percentage. While the approach differs from season to season based on the roster construction, a fundamental approach for the team has been get on base and get over. The Falcons pride themselves on playing on their toes, never missing a play due to inattentiveness. Weston made it a point to mention how the team has set a goal of leaving even fewer runners on base.
With exciting new talent like Emma set to make their debut, the 2022 season is sure to be entertaining. Check out the “ECC Athletics” page located under the “About” section on our school’s home page. There you’ll find the full roster, game schedules, news, and in-depth statistics for each athlete. Here’s to a successful Softball Season; Go Falcons!