SOUTH WEBSTER — South Webster senior Emma Bailey has found a way to balance things as she prepares for her graduation as a member of the Class of 2021.
Balance is something every high school student athlete has learned over time and a trait that the soon-to-be Cedarville University Yellow Jacket will carry with her to the next level.
On Wednesday, Bailey — with her family, friends, and coaches in attendance — signed her letter of intent to join the Cedarville Univ. softball and women’s indoor track teams, following her graduation from South Webster HS in just a few weeks.
“In high school it’s been somewhat hard to juggle two sports. I haven’t had the opportunity to do two at the same time. Now that I’m going into college, I know that I can expect a lot heavier workload,” Bailey said, at her signing. “Really think I’ll be able to continue working hard and keeping up my grades once I get there.”
Cedarville Univ. is located in Cedarville, Oh., and is an NCAA Division II member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC), and also holds membership with the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).
Cedarville is home to just over 4,000 students (undergrad & postgraduate). The university’s Christian affiliation was one of the main influences that Bailey said helped her decide on becoming a Yellow Jacket.
“Cedarville stood out to me because of the great Christian environment. It’s the type of place where I want to be. To be able to go there and play two sports that I’ve worked really hard on my whole life is such a blessing.”
During their 2021 spring season, the senior has been a catalyst for South Webster’s offense and an anchor of their defense behind the plate as catcher.
As of April 30, Bailey leads the Lady Jeeps in home runs (4), RBI (32), batting average of players with at-least 40 plate appearance (.519), walks drawn (10), and slugging (1.000).
Bailey was named all-SOC second team during her sophomore season in 2019 and was a member of the Lady Jeeps team that finished as a Division IV district semi-finalist that season.
“This year has been absolutely great. We have really high hopes come tournament time,” Bailey said. “It’s been great to be apart of this year’s team. I’ll be really sad when it ends, but glad I’ll have the opportunity to keep playing.”
During her summers in high school, Bailey has competed with the Ohio Stingrays — an travel fast-pitch softball team that has helped develop players who’ve went on to compete at the NCAA Division I, II, III and NAIA level of collegiate softball.
Competing as part of South Webster’s indoor track team for two years in high school and two years during junior high, Bailey saw her personal-record in the shot-put competition during her junior year at 38-8.5 feet.
Upon enrolling at Cedarville, Bailey said she plans to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a nursing major. Her mother, Jane Bailey, is a nurse herself at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Ky.
“My mom’s been a nurse for 30 years. To see the things she’s gotten to do in her life and the lessons she has learned, it really inspired me to follow in her footsteps and help people as much as I can,” Bailey said.
Joined by parents Jane and John, brother Evan, softball coaches Jason Hamilton and Andy Messer, junior high track coaches Jeremy Newman and Lori Newman, and high school track Coach Tim Conley, and friends from the SWHS softball team, Bailey said she was thankful for their influence on her life and athletic career that helped allow her the opportunity she made official this week.
“It’s something that I’ve worked really hard for my whole life, and Cedarville’s the place I’ve always wanted to be. I’m just so thankful to my coaches and parents who’ve supported me and helped me become the person I am today. So glad to have the opportunity to continue playing at the next level.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved