Emily Bobb said there wasn’t any place she would rather have been after school this spring than on the Seymour softball field practicing for her next game.

“Softball is my passion,” she said. “I began playing travel ball when I was 8 years old, so I’m going on my 10th year.

“I started on local teams and eventually played in Columbus. Now we practice in Hope and have players from all over Indiana.”

Travel ball has been a valuable experience for Bobb.

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Playing year-round helped her get an opportunity to play at Grace College beginning this fall.

“It helped tremendously,” Bobb said. “I had a lot more confidence coming into high school ball. I could feel more confident in leading the team. It was a great transition from a really competitive team to a high school team, and I really enjoyed that.

“We’ve played in the (softball) world series every year. We’ve kind of gotten away from it just because we’ve been doing a lot more showcases, so we’re traveling out of state every weekend when all the college coaches are coming and watching. Everybody on our team was recruited except two people, and they’re underclassmen.”

Earlier in her career, Bobb played as a switch hitter at the plate.

“I started batting left handed whenever I kind of got serious about softball, and when I was 11 years old they turned me around so I could slap from the left side.”

Bobb has been successful at slapping the ball because of hours she spent practicing it.

“Slap hitting is something very easy to softball, and I think a good slapper can hit any pitch where they want to put it, and the goal in slapping is to hit it where the defense isn’t,” Bobb said. “If they are back I’ll try to lay down the bunt and run it out.

“I can hit away from the left side, and when I’m confident, I can do that. Sometimes, if the shortstop is cheating over if there is a runner on first that leaves the six hole open and I have an opportunity to hit there.”

The past two seasons, Bobb served as the leadoff hitter.

“Hitting is my favorite part of the game. Batting is definitely a key component of the game. It’s a good opportunity to thrive under pressure, and that’s what I like the most about it.”

The senior moved around on defense this year, beginning the season at second base, then she moved to third base and said she even played a couple games at shortstop.

Bobb said that while the second baseman has a shorter throw to make to first base, “you’ve got a lot more ground to cover.”

The key to playing solid infield defense is watching the batter, according to Bobb.

“You can usually tell from where they are in the box what they’re going to do,” Bobb said. “If they’re in the back of the box you can anticipate them to slap or bunt, but if they’re straight up on the plate they’re more than likely going to hit. I stay in the same spot all the time.”

Bobb said you have to work hard on practice and have a positive attitude for any sport that you play.

“I think preparation is an absolute key to success,” she said. “When you’re out there practicing every day that is how you’re going to play, and if you practice well you’re going to play well.

“We focused a lot this season on mental toughness, on bouncing back from errors, staying up and making the next play, stuff like that.”

Bobb was a member of the softball leadership team.

“We deal with confrontations, we deal with if the team is getting down or losing we bring the team back up. We were pretty much the energy bus of the team.”

At a glance

Name: Emily Bobb

Parents: Matt and Kim Bobb

Siblings: Morgan, Jamie, McKenna, Tyler

Sports: softball 4 years, volleyball 1 year

Athletic honors: Mental Attitude Award, two-time All-HHC,, MVP, coaches award, offensive player of the year, three-time Indiana Crossroads top 100 selection

Organizations: National Honor Society, FCA leadership, Student Athletic Board, D.A.R.E. Role Model, 10-year 4H member.

Favorite away diamond: Floyd Central

Plans after high school: attend Grace College, play softball

Favorite food: Taco soup

Favorite TV show: “Changing Lives”

Favorite musician: Chris Young

Favorite movie: “The Benchwarmers”

Favorite athlete: Kelsey Bruder

Favorite team: Florida softball

Favorite quote: “”The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drench in sweat, at the point of exhaustion when no one else is watching.” — Anson Dorrance

Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.