Playing for UK a dream come true for Emmert

Published 3:30 pm Friday, November 17, 2023

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Since she grew up in Lexington, Ava Emmert has been going to University of Kentucky softball games since age 8 when she started playing softball.

“The environment is so much fun. I went to camps there growing up. As I got older, I really started loving UK softball,” Emmert said.

Now the Lexington Catholic senior is going to be playing at Kentucky just like her older sister, Ella, a junior on the UK team. Emmert was one of six signees in coach Rachel Lawson’s 2024 recruiting class.

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“Ava Emmert is a reliable infielder who adds a lot of power to our lineup and extends the length of our order one through nine.” Lawson said.

Emmert, who hit .378 with three homers and 20 RBI’s for Catholic last season, calls Lawson a “great person who knows how to push somebody to be the best” but does it in a loving way that makes her more like a best friend.

“Ella loves Kentucky. That made me want to go there even more. She pushes me to be the best and knows I can get there,” Emmert said.

Emmert is not sure what position she might play at UK. She plays third base and occasionally first base.

“I do like third. That’s what I play in high school and travel ball,” she said.

Her Lexington Catholic teammate, pitcher Abby Hammond, is only a junior but already is a Kentucky commit.

“I was not very surprised when she picked Kentucky because I know she is very excited to play with her sister, Ella, again. I’m super happy and excited for Ava. I know this has been her dream for a long time, and I can’t wait to watch her accomplish big things,” Hammond, who has known Emmert since they were 6 years old, said.

“Ava always has a positive attitude regardless of the score of the game. She works hard, and is always willing to put in extra reps to improve her game. I feel very confident in the circle when I know she is in the infield.”

Emmert says her and Hammond were always in the same schools and on the same travel softball teams.

“We’ve always been best friends. She is awesome,” Emmert said. “She is a very hard worker, and so am I. We compete with each other and make each other better. Knowing she will be coming to UK too is amazing.”

Emmert’s father, Emery, is the Lexington Catholic head coach and has always worked with her along with Hammond’s father, Mike.

Emmert says being a “strong girl” has helped make her a solid hitter and she also has good vision and bat speed. She has to work more on her defense.

“My dad has always pushed me to be a great defender and has worked on my quickness. Getting stronger and taller has also helped me,” she said.

The Lexington Catholic senior knows she’ll continue to get better once she gets to UK based on the progress her sister has made under Lawson.

“Ellas has got so much better and stronger at UK and is doing amazing,” Emmert said. “That motivates me. With Ella on the team, it’s also let me get to know more about the team on a personal level and I am really excited to know I will be part of that team.