Hempfield catcher Emma Hoffner picks Ohio

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Monday, October 21, 2019 | 12:01 PM


Emma Hoffner is a junior at Hempfield, but she already has been through the college recruiting process twice.

The softball catcher committed to St. Francis (Pa.) last year, but a coaching change prompted her to decommit and open her recruitment.

In the meantime, other schools entered the picture after following her travel ball career. After taking a few visits, Hoffner found a program she liked and made a verbal commitment Sunday night to Ohio University.

She also considered offers from Robert Morris, Lehigh and Bucknell.

“After going to Ohio U, I knew that I didn’t need to go to any other schools,” Hoffner said. “The philosophies that the coaches have and just the coaches in general are incredible. The school is beautiful, and I can truly see myself there.”

An all-state player, Hoffner has been a key part of Hempfield’s championship runs of the past few seasons. The Spartans have won five straight WPIAL championships and own a PIAA three-peat (2016, ’17, ’18)

Last year, she hit a team-leading .519 with 10 doubles and 27 RBIs. Hempfield was stopped short in the state semifinals.

New NCAA rules, which went into effect last spring, prevent student-athletes from taking official visits or having contact with college coaches until Sept. 1 of their junior year.

Hoffner visited Ohio last month.

“It was a very stressful and exciting experience to go through,” she said. “I visited some amazing schools with great coaching staffs, but Ohio U truly stuck out to me. I knew on the car ride home from that visit that I loved it there and wanted to be a part of a place like that.”

Hoffner said Ohio has been following her travel team, Ohio Outlaws-Hoffner, for some time. Two of her teammates also committed to Ohio, Yasmine Logan (Penn Hills) and Annalia Paoli (Albert Gallatin).

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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