FORT MYERS, Fla. — Former East Surry standout Emily Cummings recently completed her junior college softball career with a run at the national championship by a team that entered the NJCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed.
Cummings, who starred for the Lady Cardinals between 2013 and 2016 and signed with Florida Southwestern State College on April 13, 2016, competed for the past two seasons as a member of one of the nation’s top junior college softball teams. This spring, in her sophomore season, Cummings posted a perfect 7-0 record on the mound, with a 2.41 ERA, and also took frequent turns in the FSW batting order, where she hit .400 in limited action.
As a team, Florida Southwestern posted a 53-5 record during the 2018 season and entered the double-elimination championship tournament in St. George, Utah, as the top-seeded team, but after winning two games, lost back-to-back contests on May 18 against Butler Community College and Chipola College, to finish its season.
As a freshman during the 2017 season, Cummings made 18 pitching appearances for the Buccaneers, including eight starting assignments. She posted a 7-2 record with a 2.38 ERA in 50 innings of work. In 29 appearances overall, counting time both on the mound and in the batter’s box, she hit .289 with five RBI.
During 2018, her hitting underwent a major uptick in her second season of college softball, where she hit .400 with a .432 on-base percentage and a .514 slugging percentage. Still, she didn’t get to play everyday on a team that was so loaded with talent that the Buccaneers hit .404 as a team.
Being in Florida, the weather allowed FSW to start its season early, with the first games of the 2018 season on Jan. 26. The next day, the Bucs played three times, and Cummings entered in relief of an ineffective starter in the third game of the three-game set, a win over Florida State College of Jacksonville. She scored her second win three days later in another long-relief outing, tossing three scoreless frames in a win over Palm Beach State College.
On Feb. 7, she went to 3-0 when she won her first starting assignment of 2018, pitching into the sixth inning of an 8-0 shutout of Miami-Dade Community College, a team she beat again a few weeks later. She had just one poor outing all season, allowing six runs in a short stint against South Florida State on March 8, and even in that game, her teammates scored 14 runs and got her off the hook. Cummings never lost a game all season, and ended her JUCO career with a career pitching record of 14-2. Leaving our that one poor outing on March 8, her ERA for the 2018 season was just 1.21.
Cummings, a 5’4” left-hander, was an All-State selection as a senior at East Surry and set the school record for home runs. While playing travel ball during the winter of 2015-16, Cummings caught the eye of FSW head coach Robert Iamurri, and was offered the opportunity to play for the junior-college powerhouse.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.