Manchester's West signs to play softball at Taylor

Emma West, first row middle, will attend and play softball at Taylor University in Upland starting this fall. Pictured are, front, l-r, Melissa West (mother), Emma West, Adam West (father); back, MHS head softball coach Brittany Holmes, Hadley West, Ainsley West, and Taylor University head softball coach Erin Kotlarz. Photo by Eric Christiansen

By Eric Christiansen

NORTH MANCHESTER -- Emma West has been playing softball for as long as she can remember.

The Squire senior will continue to make memories on the diamond for the next four years, signing with Taylor University in Upland to play softball.

"I chose Taylor because of the team and the atmosphere," West said. "I love the campus and everything about the School. I like that it's a small school and campus."

West said she began looking at colleges as early as her freshman year of high school, including schools at the Division I level all the way to Division III. She chose an NAIA school, and is looking forward to continuing softball at Taylor.

"The girls are all super welcoming, especially the first overnight trip there," West said. "They acted like they wanted me there. When coach (Erin Kotlarz) became head coach, I was dead set on Taylor."

Kotlarz was an assistant coach last season at Taylor and is in her first season running the program. She said she is excited to have West join her squad.

"Emma is so great," Kotlarz said. "When I was recruiting last summer, she was the first kid I had my eye on, so it's cool that she's now committed to come to Taylor.

"Her knowledge of the game is one of the first things I noticed, and just talking with her his unbelievable. I'm so excited to have her."

West's high school coach Brittany Holmes isn't ready to get rid of West just yet as they prepare for the 2019 Squire season, but it happy for her senior player.

"I'm just really proud of her," Holmes said. "She is such a big part of our team, and I know she'll do well at Taylor."

West hopes to help Manchester to a third Three Rivers Conference title in the past four seasons.

"We've had a lot of success over the past few years, which has been amazing," she said. "I hope to grow as a leader on the field this year and just help younger teammates grow as player."

Finally, West said Taylor is special to her because of her faith.

"I definitely wanted a faith-based Christian college that will help me stay true to what I believe, and that also went into my choosing going to Taylor."

West is the daughter of Adam and Melissa West.

Posted on 2019 Jan 22