High school softball: West’s Clarke in demand

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Staff report

MOUNT ULLA — West Rowan junior Emma Clarke anticipated getting college scholarship offers on Sept. 1, the red-letter date when coaches could first directly contact her, and she hasn’t been disappointed.

Clarke has heard from many big-time programs.

Schools that she’s very interested in include Georgia, Tennessee, Florida State and Virginia, and that’s not in any particular order. That’s a final four that could change and it’s a final four that could be added to.

Clarke is a special player, a special athlete and if you ask any of her coaches and teammates at West, where she also stands out in volleyball and basketball, a very special person.

Clarke is an awesome 6-foot slugger on the softball diamond. She also brings excellent base-running speed and smooth defensive skills — she’s West’s shortstop — to the table.

As a varsity freshman, Clarke hit .432 with five homers in a season that was shortened to 13 games by COVID.

As a sophomore, she was one of the state’s best hitters. She drove in an incredible 54 runs in 25 games. She batted .575 with 13 homers, eight doubles and four triples.

Rowan County has produced a number of Division I softball players, including Clarke’s teammate Brooke Kennerly, a senior committed to App State, but Clarke has the highest ceiling of all of them.

She’s certain to be the most heavily recruited player in the sport in Rowan history.