MASON, Ohio – Emily Young has a natural intuition on the softball field.
The Ursuline senior shortstop can bat anywhere in the lineup and play multiple positions at a high level, and when she leaves the field, she’s ready to call the pitches.
High school sports coaches often refer to their standouts as another coach on the field.
Young literally fits that coaching comparison in every sense.
“I’ve been coaching 26 years,” OFC Heat Orange coach Scott Urton said. “She is probably the smartest kid I've coached on the field.”
Young recently made a verbal commitment to Stanford, one of only three Ohio players to ever play softball in the Pac-12 Conference, according to Ursuline coach Missy Keith.
“She is strong in all five tools – speed, hitting for power, hitting for average, fielding and arm strength,” Keith said. “But what makes Emily really special is her natural feel and intuition for the game. Her intelligence is always evident on the softball field and every game she creates runs and makes plays with her quick instincts.”
Young is the first Southwest Ohio player to commit to a Pac-12 program, according to Keith. She will sign with the Cardinal on National Signing Day Nov. 8.
She also considered schools that included Pittsburgh, Akron and Saint Louis.
“She is the best player in the state of Ohio,” Urton said. “This kid can play at any spot. She is that talented.”
Young, the two-time GGCL Player of the Year, hit .590 with 36 hits, eight doubles, five triples, three home runs, 24 RBI and 18 stolen bases last season for the Lions (14-7). She had a .627 on-base percentage too. She is also an ultra-talented ice hockey player.
Young, who lives in Mason, has scored a 34 on her ACT twice. She takes Advanced Placement and honors classes at Ursuline. She plans to study aeronautical engineering.
“When you hear Stanford you think of world-class academics and top-notch athletics,” Keith said. “She is highly intelligent and a phenomenal athlete.”
Stanford entered the recruiting picture when former Minnesota coach Jessica Allister joined the Cardinal program in mid-July. Allister led the Gophers to a 56-5 record and a No. 1 national ranking. She was a second-team All-American catcher at Stanford in 2004.
Young has played shortstop, catcher and center field for OFC Heat Orange since joining the program seven years ago.
Ursuline opens the softball season March 24 versus Fenwick at 11 a.m. The Lions play at Sycamore at 1 p.m.
The Lions have three players who've made college commitments including freshman pitcher Mary Newton (Pitt), freshman infielder Jane Kronenberger (Notre Dame) and Young.