SIUE's Ingles makes splash early in softball career
It has not taken long for Emily Ingles to have an impact for the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville softball team.
During the Cougars' recent stretch of games in Clearwater, Florida, Ingles — a true-freshman, right-handed pitcher from Scottsdale, Arizona — dominated the competition, going 4-0 with a 0.62 earned-run average over the course of eight games.
Those efforts led to Ingles being named the Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week, SIUE's athletic website reported on March 13.
“My mind was blown,” Ingles told the Metro East Sun about her reaction when she earned the honor.
As part of that stretch in Florida, Ingles pitched four of five innings in SIUE's no-hitter against LaSalle on March 8, which was the 33rd no-hitter in program history. She threw a six-inning four-hit shutout against Fort Wayne on March 11, and twice during the trip notched 11 strikeouts in a game.
Her performance in Florida was indicative of her season. In her first 14 appearances this season, which included eight starts, Ingles was 8-1 with a 1.52 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 69 innings of work.
A year ago at this time, Ingles was regularly owning high-school hitters in Arizona. According to her bio page on SIUE's website, Ingles was the Division II Section III Player of the Year while pitching for Arcadia High School. She led the state with 31 wins and was second in strikeouts with 323 in 188 2/3 innings. Her perfect game on March 18, 2016, highlighted her four no-hitters.
Once while in California for a tournament with her club team, Arizona Hotshots Gold, she and her coaches went to watch another player play. They found out the player had committed to SIUE, and the club coaches met and talked with SIUE's coaches who were at the game as well. The SIUE coaches then came to watch Ingles pitch the next day, and the interest began.
Ingles said she had been looking at a couple of other colleges to play before going to visit SIUE last December. Coming from a heavily populated area in Arizona, Ingles liked the contrast that the SIUE area offered.
“I like that it's on its own, its own small community,” she said. “I thought it was cute, and the facilities were awesome.”
Ingles said it has been a challenge going from high school and club softball to NCAA Division I in a short amount of time. But it has been a good challenge.
“It's just like a step up, and you just have to make sure you compete to that level,” she said. “It was a good change because I felt like I've gotten better.”
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Edwardsville, IL 62025