YWCA Sportswomen Awards: St. Vincent's Emert led softball team to PAC title
Senior pitcher Samantha Emert is enjoying another fine season on the St. Vincent softball team.
Emert had a 7-3 record in the circle heading into Sunday's doubleheader at Washington & Jefferson. The Bearcats were 9-9 overall and 2-2 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference.
Emert had a career season last year, leading the Bearcats to their first PAC title. In the NCAA Division III Norfolk Regional tournament, she shut out top-ranked Virginia Wesleyan. The Bearcats lost their next two games and were eliminated.
She ended up 18-8 and had an 1.11 ERA, both school records.
She struck out 118 and threw eight shutouts.
She was named PAC Player of the Year, the PAC tournament most valuable player and an NCAA all-regional tournament pick.
She will add to those accolades Tuesday with the YWCA of Westmoreland County Sportswoman of the Year Award for individual excellence. She will be among eight individuals and four teams honored at a banquet at Greensburg Ramada Inn and Conference Center.
“It will be extremely difficult to top what we have accomplished last year, but we have a great group of returning girls that have a lot of talent and experience,” she said. “I believe we can do (big) things again if we put our mind to it.”
In a doubleheader Wednesday against Grove City, Emert tossed a two-hit shutout to take the first game and won the second game with 2 1⁄3 shutout innings in relief. In March, she was selected pitcher of the week by the PAC after she went 3-0 with a 1.40 earned run average. It was the seventh time she was so honored in her career.
She was tabbed NCAA Division III preseason honorable mention All-America by Fastpitch News.
Emert said she just wants to enjoy her final season.
“The fact that my career is winding down is heartbreaking,” she said. “I will surely miss my teammates more than I can even say.
“I will miss talking and sharing experiences about the game with my dad, but I will leave here with so many great memories that it will be hard to not smile when it is all over.”
Emert is majoring in biology and minoring in psychology. She plans to attend graduate school for physical therapy.
She hopes to keep her hand in softball in a recreational league.
“I will miss it way too much to give it up completely,” she said.
Emert said the YWCA honor ranks with others she has earned.
“To be recognized as the Sportswoman of the Year for a whole county is something I could have only dreamed of accomplishing,” she said. “There are many tremendous young female athletes in Westmoreland County, and I am beyond honored to be recognized as one of them.”
Her mother and father, as well as her teammates, will accompany her to the banquet. The Bearcats will receive the Sportswomen of the Year team award.
“I thank both of my parents for their continued support, especially my dad, who has pushed me and believed in me throughout my whole career,” she said. “I will miss sharing softball with them.”
Emert said her most memorable experience was winning the PAC championship.
“My teammates are my family,” she said. “To have achieved such a big accomplishment that we had worked so hard to win over the past seasons was so rewarding, and to do it surrounded by some of the best people in my life makes it even more special.”
Bearcats coach Nicole Karr said Emert leads by example on and off the field.
“She works hard at practices and has a great attitude,” said Karr, adding Emert never loses her composure on the mound.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.