Pitcher Emma Maitland’s freshman season was a disappointing one.
Despite having a solid 9-10 record and 125 strikeouts on the mound, the Lady Sharks finished the season 23-24.
As the lone returning sophomore, Maitland, who is slowly recovering from a posterior internal impingement on her right shoulder, suffered during a bullpen session this past October, is expected to give the team veteran leadership.
This season, the 5-foot-6 inch right hander has made two appearances, losing both games while striking out 10 batters and carrying a 3.75 earned run average.
“I want to get my arm better and back in shape,” Maitland said. “I want to be able to pitch longer once I’m better.”
Maitland’s passion for softball came at a young age. Her parents’ athletic experience shaped her passion for competitive sports.
“My dad was a football star in highschool and my mom played soccer all through college,” Maitland said. “I kind of was pushed into being an athlete, but then ended up liking it.”
Maitland ventured into softball when she was six, while also playing soccer and volleyball. Because of financial reasons, she was eventually given an ultimatum: pick a sport. She chose her first love, softball.
“When I was little, what made me first fall in love with softball was the excitement of going to the field everyday with my dad,” Maitland said. “The first ball I hit into the outfield my dad was so proud of me. The feeling of love and support is really what fed into the game for me.”
Now the Broward native is excited to get her softball career back on track after the shoulder injury, so she can continue playing collegiately. Maitland has a few colleges considering her and hopes to get an offer at the end of the season.
“I’m trying to go to other places and get a scholarship for softball so hopefully something kicks off there,” Maitland said. “I’ve gotten interest from Webber and St. Thomas University.”
Being the only sophomore on an 18-player team can be a little odd, but Maitland has already earned respect from her younger teammates.
“She’s an assertive leader,” pitcher Tiffany Dodson said. “When she’s out there on the field it feels kind of different cause she’s better experienced.”
Head coach Gina De Aguero believes Maitland’s experience will serve her well in her final season at MDC.
“She’s a gamer,” De Aguero said. “When she’s going out there and stepping on the mound, she’s going to work hard and be competitive. She’ll always step up to the competition.”
The Lady Sharks are currently 3-7. The team’s next game will be at the Kendall Campus, 11011 S.W. 104th St., softball field versus Seminole State College Of Florida on Feb. 17 at 12 p.m.