MaST senior a Money softball star

Emily Money will play at Long Island University next year. CONTRIBUTED

It was unconventional, but Emily Money was right.

Or, actually, she was left.

When she was in fourth grade, Money’s mom took her to the store to buy a softball glove. And since she used her right hand to write, her mom thought she should get a glove for her left hand.

Money knew it didn’t feel right.

“We were looking for a glove in Walmart and I told her, no, I throw with my left hand,” Money said. “I don’t know why, it’s very strange. I write righty, I bat righty, but I use my left hand to throw. I don’t know why, I just knew it didn’t feel right.”

Good thing mom listens, because Money is money on the softball field, whether it’s at the plate or in the field and the MaST Charter senior has been one of the top players in the area since she made the team as a freshman.

It wasn’t always that way. In fact, she used to not like the sport.

“When I was younger, I didn’t like it,” said Money, who now plays first base while also seeing some time at any outfield position. “Then I tried it later, and I started playing with another girl who was really good, Lucianna Boggi, she was very good, and I started to watch what she did, and I learned a lot. Then I started liking it.”

So did she become a star overnight? Just watch Boggi and her career took off?

“No, not at all,” Money said with a laugh. “It took so much hard work. I had to practice. I had to get better. I worked so hard to get better. Softball is hard. I had to get better. I took lessons, I played travel, worked with my coaches. I had to do a lot to get better.”

They say hard work pays off, and it certainly did for Money. She would have been a four-year starter at MaST, she twice made the All-Bicentennial League team and next year she’ll continue her softball career at the Division I level.

Money will play for Long Island University next year. She’ll do so while studying nursing in the school’s honors program.

It helps that Money has talent and brains, but again, it all comes down to hard work. And she’s willing to do it again next year.

“I know it will be challenging to study nursing in the honors program and play softball, but I’m ready to do it,” said Money, a Morrell Park resident who is a member of the National Honor Society in high school. “I’m really happy I found out I’m in the honors program. It means a lot to me. I know it will be hard, but I’m ready for it. I am willing to study hard.

“I’ll not only miss my family at home, but I’ll also miss my family at MaST. I’ve been with the same classmates and teachers since I came into the school in fifth grade, so my class has literally grown up together.”

Money has been a star for the Panthers since she started playing. And every year, she’s gotten a little better.

“I think I’m more of a singles hitter, doubles, too,” said Money, who hit over .400 as a junior. “I’m not a bigger girl, so I’m fast. I like playing defense, too. I usually play first base, but I’m able to play other positions. I’m left-handed (throwing), so that helps.”

Like all spring athletes, Money was disappointed she didn’t have a swan song this year. It would have been fun to finish what she started at MaST, but coronavirus spoiled that and many other things this year. But she has made the best of it.

“It was really sad, we never got to play a game, we never got to wear the uniform,” Money said. “We had seniors, there are four of us, who really wanted to play together again. It was sad. A lot of what we missed out on is sad. We just wanted to play. It hurts a lot.”

Money, who is also a member of the Red Cross club that organizes blood drives at the school, may not play in front of her MaST community again, but she’ll certainly get a chance to play in front of her family.

Her mom, dad and little brother, Spencer, 10, are all very close. Spencer is also a star in his spring sport, baseball, and he does that to take after his sister. During the quarantine, it’s helped to have a little brother who loves the same sport.

“I think he looks up to me because when he was little, he loved football, but when I started doing more with softball, he started doing more with baseball,” Money said. “He’s good, too. We have a catch. It’s hard in quarantine because I’ve been doing a lot by myself, you can’t play with other people, but we’ve been doing a lot. I love having him around.”

And next year, he’ll be lurking while cheering for his big sister.

“My parents got him a shark costume,” said Money, who will play for the Long Island Sharks next year. “It’s so funny to see him wear it. It entertains us all.”

She’ll be ready to entertain, too.

She isn’t sure what to expect, but she’ll be ready.

“I’m so honored to get a chance to go to a great school, athletically and academically,” Money said. “I’m going to play softball, I’m studying what I want to study and I’m going to the honors program. I’m really excited.

“This summer, I’ll just do whatever I can, either with my club team or by myself. I’ll keep working and I’ll be ready for college.”