She wanted her team to win, but above all, this St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls softball captain wanted her team to win together.
Emma Clark wanted a lot out of her teammates.
The thing she wanted the most was for them to all have fun.
Clark is a senior shortstop on the St. Hubert High School softball team. Along with fellow captain Kait Jaworski, she made it her mission to make sure the Bambies were a bonded group that didn’t play to win, but played to win together.
“I saw last year and at the very beginning of this year, people would make faces when someone else would make a mistake,” Clark said. “I’ve always tried not to do it. I get mad at myself when I make a mistake, but I don’t at other people because I know it hurts when someone does it to you.
“Me and Kait wanted to have a much closer team, but it wasn’t hard. Everyone wanted it. We wanted to be a close team that bonded and picked each other up. When someone is down, it’s up to the rest of us to pick each other up.”
That formula seems to be working perfectly.
A season ago, the Bambies advanced to the Catholic League championship before falling to Archbishop Ryan. This year, they’re on their way to another successful season.
Hubert has won seven of its nine games, which is good enough for third place in the competitive Catholic League. The Bambies have three games left — against West Catholic, Bonner-Prendergast and Lansdale Catholic. If they win out, they’ll have a favorable schedule when the playoffs begin later this month.
And while Clark is looking forward to the end of the season, she’s even happier about the start of it.
The week after Easter, Clark and her teammates traveled to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where they played four games against top-ranked teams from across the country. They finished 2–2, but the biggest strides weren’t made between the lines.
“Every year, we look forward to this,” the Bustleton resident said. “I’m really sad it’s over because I’m not going to do it again. It’s such a good time.
“On the way down, we play pump-up songs and sing them as loud as we can. The rest of the time, we sleep or do other things that drive our coaches crazy. It’s such a fun time. I’m really going to miss it.”
That trip might be all business in terms of getting better on the field, but it did a fine job helping the Bambies bond.
“I don’t think anyone thought we’d be good this year, I think people didn’t expect much,” Clark said. “But we’re playing together, and that’s making us play better. It’s hard because there are a lot of good teams (in the Catholic League), but we’re as good as anyone when we play smart and together.”
That’s been the key to Hubert’s success. The same was true last year, and while it was fun for the entire team, it was a little bit of a downer for Clark.
The natural shortstop was shifted to third base last year, and a few weeks into the season, she developed pain in her throwing arm, which sent her to the bench for a few games.
“I got back pretty quickly, I just had to rest it,” Clark said. “When I got back, I still couldn’t throw that great, so I didn’t play the field. I would (be the designated hitter). I wanted to play, but they did great without me.”
Clark will wear a Bambie uniform for the next month, but soon she will depart. The next step on her journey is Immaculata University, where she hopes to walk on to the softball team. She also has her major chosen.
“I’m going to major in biology and pre-med because I want to become an anesthesiologist,” Clark said. “When I was younger, my mom watched Grey’s Anatomy and that’s when I got the idea. Since then, I did a lot of research on it, it’s a great job and I’m good at science. It’s definitely a tough course, but it’s something I really think I can do. I just have to study.”
But before she puts patients to sleep, she wants to help the Bambies hoist the Catholic League plaque.
It won’t be easy.
Archbishop Ryan has won the last three titles, and Conwell-Egan and Archbishop Wood both have victories over Hubert this year.
But a season ago, the Bambies came out of nowhere to make it to the title game. This year would be much less of a shocker if the team played into June.
“I don’t think a lot of people expected us to win because we lost a lot of great seniors and had to move up a bunch of players from (junior varsity),” Clark said. “But we came together really fast. I want to play together as long as we can.” ••