Photo credits: iStock via Getty Images
While the West Chester softball team is off to a 6–4 start, I got the chance to sit down with infielder Emily Kim to discuss the season and to get to know more about her.
So how did you first get involved playing softball?
“I think I was probably around six, seven, eight-years-old and my parents were just wanting me to get involved in a spring sport. And I think I was supposed to be signed up for lacrosse but we were a couple days late so I signed for softball — for tee-ball, at the time.”
What were some of the key factors that made you continue to play?
“I think, growing up, the two main sports I played were soccer and softball, and I had to probably choose around when I was 14, and I chose softball just because I liked the more dynamic aspect of the game. I like the aspect [that] there was baserunning, offense, defense. I was a pitcher at the time, so I really liked pitching; I’m not a pitcher anymore. So, I think that the versatility of the game made me choose that over soccer; I still love soccer, but…”
So going into high school, did you really want to play in college? Was that a huge goal for you?
“Yeah, it had always been a big goal for me especially. My sister — I have an older sister, she’s three years older than me — she actually looked at West Chester before me, so to see her kind of striving for these things, and the possibilities of it, really made me want to do it too. So yeah, I probably started looking to play college softball right around my freshman year of high school.”
When you did visit West Chester, what did you think of it?
“I really, really liked the campus and something else — it wasn’t the only school I looked at, obviously, but as your goals change, like what you want to study, what you want from a college, as you grow up, it just ticked off the boxes every single time I made a change of what I wanted. I really loved the campus and I really loved the coaching and the girls, the chemistry and stuff on the team.”
In terms of being on the team, do you take a certain leadership role now that you’re a senior?
“I try my best to, you know, with COVID and stuff. My starting class when I was a freshman was very big; it was ten girls. It’s now, from that original group, just me, so there’s a lot of things that other girls on the team haven’t experienced. My freshman year was probably the last time we had a ‘normal’ season, so I do my best to try to remember everything I can from that season to try to clarify some things, because it can be really hectic and confusing, especially for a lot of freshmen and first year players. So, I try to do the best I can to be helpful.”
The last time I talked to your coach, you guys had lost, I believe, three out of four games at the start of the season. So right now, how do you guys feel and what do you think the ceiling is for this team?
“I do remember that, but I also remember feeling like we are at a good starting place. I feel like we have a lot of talent and we do have a lot of young players in a lot of important places, but they’re just improving and excelling so rapidly. And on top of that, we just have a very mature team, like we really grasp the importance of camaraderie even above talent. So, I just feel we have nowhere to go but up. We’re a very tough team, and we could improve every single day at practice and we’re never not improving. This is a group of people that’s really not satisfied [with] where they [we]re yesterday, and they want to get better tomorrow.”
Do you have a favorite game or favorite games that stick out to you when playing for West Chester?
“Yeah, actually, I’ll call on last season. When we were in the World Series, I think there’s two that I can think of, they were both in Denver. It was my freshman year, it was the end of the game or towards the end of the game. We were down 6–1, 7–1, and we just rallied and came back and it’s probably the most exciting game I’ve ever been a part of. Then, the very last game of our previous season we had, we lost, but I just remember we were playing really well and we’re competing with really tough teams — but more than anything, I just remember we were having the time of our lives before the game and during the game, and that was the most fun I’ve ever had playing softball.”
What is your favorite food?
“I love Korean food. My dad’s side of the family is Korean, and I love Korean food.”
What’s your favorite color?
“Purple, but I really like green.”
What is one of your favorite movies of all time?
“It changes from year to year, but right now I really like ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.’ I just watched that the other day.”
What’s your favorite vacation spot, even if you’ve never been there before?
“I went to Hawaii after my senior year in high school. That was really cool, so that’d be cool to go back there.”
Do you prefer to travel with friends or family?
“I’m gonna say friends because I’ve never really gotten to travel far with friends, so I’d like to try it.”
Timothy Smith is a senior Communication Studies major with a minor in Journalism TS944841@wcupa.edu