Cherry signs with PCC, looks ahead to senior season
Published 8:11 pm Thursday, January 18, 2024
Now that Northside senior softball player Emaleigh Cherry has officially settled her future, she can focus on the upcoming season, which could include a deep playoff run.
Cherry became the fourth Panther to commit to playing college softball as she signed her paperwork in front of family and friends in the Northside media center earlier this week.
Northside teammates Bella Boykin (Catawba) and twins Jorden and Jaden Clark (Lees-McRae) made their choices back in the fall.
I’ve known I was going to Pitt for a while now, so it’s good to make it official,” Cherry said. “It’s close to home so my family can come to the games and they have a good program. I think I can step in and play a lot when I get there.”
Cherry was the Panthers lead-off batter and led the team with 37 runs scored and 13 stolen bases during a 20-5 campaign that ended with a third round playoff loss at East Columbus.
She hit .437 and fielded her shortstop/second base position nearly flawlessly with three errors all season.
The Panthers dropped a pair of 4-3 extra inning decisions to conference rival Pamlico County that kept them from winning the league and earning multiple home playoff games. Veteran football and baseball coach Keith Boyd returns to coach the program he started many years ago and also help the players reach their potential.
“It’s crazy to think that I’ve been playing with most of these girls since we were eight and now we are seniors,” Cherry said. “We started fundamental drills at the end of November and Coach Boyd has been a big help. We respect his knowledge of the game and trust what he tells us. He says if we play the way we practice, we should have a good year. I’m excited to get started.”
PCC assistant coach Andrew Jordan has watched Cherry’s development from a front row seat and thinks she’ll make an early impact upon arrival.
“I’m been giving Emaleigh lessons since she was in 7th grade and think she will help us in the middle infield,” Jordan said. “She wants to do the work that it takes to be good and she has the desire to succeed in college. She’s a consistent hitter with a good eye who can read spin. Defensively, she moves well side to side and has a good arm. I’m glad she’s coming to play for us.”