Virginia Tech softball ace Emma Lemley makes Team USA debut at Canada Cup

Lemley started against Korea on Monday night, tossing three innings of one-run ball, and striking out seven.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:53 PM EDT
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SURREY, British Columbia (WDBJ) - When Virginia Tech’s freshman phenom Emma Lemley received an invite to join Team USA at the Canada Cup this summer, saying yes to the chance to represent her country was a no-brainer.

“That’s like something I told my dad I wanted to do when I was starting softball,” said the rising sophomore. “I would go to the Jennie Finch camps and stuff and I had a Jennie Finch jersey, and now I get to wear a USA jersey with my name on the back.”

Lemley made her Team USA debut against Korea on Monday night, tossing three innings of one-run ball, and striking out seven.

The 19-year-old says she’s not intimidated playing alongside the likes of former JMU ace Odicci Alexander, and national player of the year Jocelyn Alo from Oklahoma.

“I think I’m the youngest by about two years on the team, so it’s really cool getting to actually play with girls that I’ve been playing against this year and that I’ve been watching for a few years,” said Lemley.

The Forest native is hoping to build on a sparkling freshman campaign that saw her named ACC Freshman of the Year.

With rotation-mate Keely Rochard departing for the pros, Lemley is poised to assume the top spot in Tech’s pitching staff - a challenge she says she’s ready for.

“[I’m] kind of mentally preparing for it already, just trying to get in the mindset of having that role and expecting that role,” she said.

Having already made the national team’s first start of the tournament, Lemley is more than just along for the ride, and her goals this week include making sure this is only the beginning of her Team USA journey.

“Making an impression to where I get an invite back next year, hopefully,” said Lemley. “But just taking in everything. This is an amazing opportunity and I’m playing with some amazing softball players, so just taking in as much information and as many memories as I can make. I think that’s the main thing I want to get out of it, and winning a gold medal would be pretty cool, too.”

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