Emmy to Emma: Lone Grove softball turning to Wilson in the circle
It’s safe to say taking over as a starting pitcher is a challenge for any young athlete. Not only are all eyes on you during the game, but you also face high-pressure situations and sometimes have big shoes to fill.
Emma Wilson can understand that, as the Lone Grove High School junior has stepped into the role left by former Lady Horns ace Emmy Guthrie, who now plays for the University of Oklahoma.
But Wilson doesn’t let the pressure overwhelm her, especially since she has a talented group of softball players by her side.
“I know I have my team behind me,” Wilson said. “I just try to throw strikes and I know they’re going to back me up if I miss. I know they’re behind me and I try to do everything I can for them.”
Lone Grove has proved that multiple times during the 2021 campaign, and even first-year head coach Dennis Furr will tell you it’s a skilled group.
“I think we have a really talented defense, maybe one of the top defensive teams in Oklahoma when we play,” Furr said. “Emmy was able to get a lot of strikeouts, but we don’t have to do that. We can really play defense. Even (Monday), our ability to play defense was a big difference in the game.”
Furr was talking about the Lady Horns’ 8-1 victory over Dickson that featured a number of great plays to keep the Lady Comets off the scoreboard.
But don’t let the defense overshadow Wilson’s impact in the circle.
“Emma has good enough stuff and you can see by the last three outing we had, she’s been really, really solid,” Furr said. “As good as you could ask for. We started off a little rocky. I think there was an adjustment period, where we were lacking confidence.
“But now, a little more trusting in our defense behind her,” Furr continued. “Knowing she doesn’t have to strike people out. … We can’t be afraid to let them hit it early in counts. But she’s been really, really solid the last three outings. I think that’s going to be the norm. She’s settled in and relaxed a whole lot.”
Only time will tell how Wilson fares the rest of the way, but she gained valuable advice from Guthrie last season that should pay off down the road.
“Emmy just told me to take it pitch by pitch,” Wilson said. “And know I have my team behind me.”