Emily Hartley is the Heat's starting catcher and has already logged over 60 innings behind the plate so far this season.
When did you realize you could become a post-secondary athlete and play your sport and attend university?
I think that the time I realized that I wanted to play softball at university was around 13 years old. That was at that age that I realized that there was more to softball than just my local minor league.
What clicked that desire for you?
I did two tours of the Southern United States with Canada Futures Softball of colleges and universities and got exposed to some of the aspects of being a student-athlete and what to expect playing at a high level. That was what really clicked my desire to play for a university. I actually didn’t play softball my first year at my old university for personal reasons, but the stars aligned and I was fortunate enough to get to transfer to UBCO and play for my Canada Futures coach, Joni Frei! I would not have wished my path to take me any other way.
What choices did you make, and what work did you need to put in, to achieve that goal?
I had to make some hard choices when transferring to UBCO. I was in my first year of university, I had a job and relationships, but I also had the drive to compete and fulfil my dream. As far as work, I would just do the little things that I believed would make me better. Whether it was catching pitches for my brother, getting swings in off the tee, or even just working out and taking care of my body.
Most memorable moment in your sport (on or off the competition surface) while representing UBCO?
Beating Regina in our first away tournament in Calgary. The University of Regina is the reigning champions of our league and it felt incredible to win as a first-year team and see all the hard work come together. The final out of the game was against one of their strongest hitters and I felt so nervous calling the pitches! But it felt so good when we got that last out and really came together as a team.
When you are done as a student-athlete and you look at the next crew of Heat athletes, how would you like to be remembered as a student-athlete?
I believe that there is so much in store for UBCO softball. Being a part of the inaugural team means so much to me and I believe that this expansion to the league will be huge for softball players not only in B.C., but also from all over the country. I want to be remembered as a leader and somebody who contributed to this new team and helped make an idea a reality. I would love the next crew of Heat softball players to see how much this team means to so many people and to truly be able to embody the values that we have for years to come!
Blue or white? What is your preferred uniform colour to wear?
I love our white uniforms! I feel like our “white-out” jerseys are super sharp.
Pregame ritual – what is it and when did you start doing it? Did it change when you started playing for the Heat?
I have had so many rituals and superstitions over the years. One of my biggest physical rituals is that I always play with a bow in my hair. It was something I picked up from players in the states and stuck with it ever since! The only change I made was wearing red and black to blue and yellow! Softball is very much a sport with many different rituals. Every time I get behind the plate I wipe at the dirt and marks from the other catcher with my cleats, that is the one that stands out for me. It’s my version of “cleaning the slate” and getting a fresh start each inning.
The UBCO women's softball team are off to Lethbridge for their final league tournament of the year. The playoffs will be at Industrial Diamonds in Calgary, the weekend of October 4 to 6, and the 2019 CCSA National Championships will be hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University this fall. The three day championship will be hosted at the iconic Peter Hallman Ball Yard in Kitchener, Ontario from October 11-13, 2019.