Boonville senior softball player Emily Gerhardt became the newest member of the Central Methodist Lady Eagles softball team after signing a letter of intent Friday in the media center at Boonville High School.
As a three-year starter for the Lady Pirates, Gerhardt said she selected CMU because they have the No. 1 ranked criminal justice program and a very good coaching staff in softball that is willing to always be there for you.
While starting at shortstop as a freshman and junior, Gerhardt made the move to third base this past season and seemed to thrive both offensively and defensively while hitting .434 with 36 hits in 83 at-bats with 20 singles, 16 doubles and 32 RBIs.
Boonville Lady Pirates softball coach Christie Zoeller said Gerhardt has done an exceptional job at the hot corner. “She handles hard shots well and she has probably covered 90 percent of the bunts we’ve seen this year,” Zoeller said. “I am really proud of the way she has handled the position change and she leads the infield well. She has also really stepped up big at the plate for us this year. She is one of our leading hitters. I always feel confident when she steps to the plate that she is going to make something happen. I also think that it says a lot about her that she was only three points away from being the top position player chosen to the all-conference team.”
Central Methodist University softball coach Pat Reardon said the Lady Eagles have had good luck obviously with me coaching Christie and being associated with the program. “We have Maddie Watson over at the school now and she has done a real good job in the program. Emily had a really good year for the Boonville team offensively. I don’t know exactly where we will play her defensively. I know she has played a variety of infield positions and that’s kind of what we will do when we start out. She will get over there and get stronger and I think she can help us maybe not immediately but down the road I think there is definitely ability with her offensive side.”
Although Gerhardt earned all-conference and all-district honors this past fall for the Lady Pirates, she said to play at the next level in college she will have to work on her endurance and speed and do a lot of conditioning.
“My goals for the first-two years at CMU is to get in shape and learn how to be a college student,” Gerhardt said. “As far as my long-term goals, I want to find a job or be looking for one in the criminal justice field.”
Looking back at the last-four years at Boonville High School, Gerhardt said winning the district titles two years in a row and traveling with the team as they went to state was probably the No. 1 highlight in her career. “Individually, I would say the highlight was coming back from my knee surgery to be a starting shortstop for varsity,” Gerhardt said.
Gerhardt also recalls her best game, which she said just so happened to be on Senior Night against New Franklin. In that game, Gerhardt said she had two doubles that was almost a home run and a single.
“The energy that night was just amazing,” Gerhardt said. “We came together as a team and had fun.”
Although Gerhardt had plenty of influences in her life while playing softball, she said Coach Otha, who was her batting coach during the summer, pushed her to the level that she is now.
Gerhardt said Missouri Valley also showed an interest in her talents for softball but elected to go to CMU because of their program.