HELENA -- Former Helena High softball great Erin Emanuel, a junior at the University of Central Florida, was recently selected second team shortstop in the American Athletic Conference.
UCF is a NCAA Division I college in Orlando, Florida.
Emanuel started 30 of 41 games at shortstop for the Lady Knights this season, posting a .239 batting average and .352 slugging percentage. She hit five doubles, a triple and a home run while producing 12 RBIs
But the true measure of the 5-foot-8 Emanuel’s play is her defense, with her glove work, her range and her rifle-like throwing arm.
The Lady Knights recently lost their quarterfinals game in the AAC tournament to Memphis, 3-0, and finished the season with a 34-22 record.
At Helena High, Emanuel batted over .400 three straight years, while setting Lady Bengal records for career batting average (.438) and doubles (15); and season hits (37), RBIs (21) and triples (four).
She was a two-time all-state selection in 2014-15, and received a scholarship to the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.
Last season with the CSI Golden Eagles, Emanuel garnered a 2017 NFCA All-American citation at shortstop.
She finished her sophomore season with Southern Idaho’s third-best batting average at .415 while leading the team with 17 homers, eight triples, 95 RBIs (in 61 games) and an .820 slugging percentage.
Erin, who is majoring in interdisciplinary studies at UCF, with a minor in sociology, is the daughter of Helena’s Jim and Vicky Emanuel.
With Central Florida this year, Emanuel helped the Lady Knights to victories over teams like Illinois (1-0), Florida A&M (2-1), Penn State (4-0), Virginia Tech (1-0), Princeton (6-1) and Florida (1-0).
She said one of the more interesting series took place in early March, when UCF was edged in three-game series on the road against the University of Connecticut.
“It was freezing temperatures and snowing, and most of the girls on our team are from Florida,” Emanuel related. “It was a culture shock for them and we dropped the series, two to one.”
But having been indoctrinated with spring softball in Montana, the weather didn’t affect her game. During their lone win over the Huskies, Emanuel went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.