Collinsville’s Barkley signs softball scholarship with Lurleen B. Wallace
COLLINSVILLE — Lurleen B. Wallace softball coach Tiffany Taylor said the correspondence she received from Collinsville senior pitcher Emma Barkley was “the best email I’ve ever gotten.”
Taylor had been looking around for pitching help for her Saints program, and as fate would have it, Barkley contacted her at just the right time.
“She emailed me and asked for a tryout,” Taylor recalled. “When I saw she was a pitcher, I was like ‘Oh yeah, come on down. We can’t have enough of those.’“
Barkley’s tryout at the Andalusia, Ala. school was a success, and even before Barkley had arrived back home, she had a scholarship offer on the table.
On April 10, Barkley put pen to paper in a ceremony at the Collinsville High School gym.
“I’m really excited,” Barkley said. “I’ve loved softball since I was really little. I haven’t always been the best, but my dad has worked me really hard, and now I feel I have the work ethic to make it. I’m going to be a long way from home, but I’m excited to make new friends and get to play new people I’ve never played before.”
Collinsville coach James Coker has coached Barkley from recreational ball all the way through high school. He takes pride in see-
Collinsville senior pitcher Emma Barkley (center) signed a softball scholarship with Lurleen B. Wallace on April 10.
ing her being able to continue her career.
“This is the fruits of the labor,” Coker said. “Just to see her develop and grow and get this opportunity is wonderful. She’s continued to master her pitching. She’s still in the process. She’s got some things she can work on, and she knows that, but she comes and works on them on a daily basis. She’s developing herself into a pretty good hitter too, but pitching is her forte, and that’s what it will be in college.”
Barkley said she was nervous during her February tryout with the Saints, but her coach-in-waiting could tell very quickly Barkley was just what she was looking for.
“After two or three pitches, I knew immediately we’ve got to have her,” Taylor said. “I’m really excited about getting Emma. I think she’ll be a great asset to our program. She’s going to do big things. I feel certain of that. She seems to be doing pretty well this year, so that makes me feel even better about getting her.”
Coker credits Barkley’s family for helping her earn the opportunity to play college softball.
“There are a lot of sacrifices a family makes with pitching, countless hours sitting on a bucket, the expense of hiring a pitching coach, things like that,” he said. “This is a family moment right here. I’ve got all the faith in the world she’ll go down there and put forth the effort and the work to be able to play.”
Even though Barkley is excited to begin the next phase of her softball career, she said Monday was bittersweet for her.
“I’m sad to be leaving high school, but I’m excited that this isn’t the end and there’s a lot more ball left to play,” Barkley said. “It’s really satisfying to know I’m going further.”