Emily Kolb is definitely thankful her mom Amy is a physical therapist, especially after the Kouts junior tore the ACL in her left knee two winters ago.
"There weren't a lot of 'mom' emotions (during rehab)," Emily said of Amy, who was the surgeon-approved overseer. "She worked me hard ... In hindsight, I thank her for all of it."
The junior catcher is hitting .493 with a program-record five home runs and 37 RBIs, leading the the Fillies (10-13) into today's Class A regional championship at Pioneer.
Emily Kolb credits most of these successes to the rehabilitation process, which started almost immediately after she injured her knee in a varsity basketball game as a sophomore.
"As soon as I was injured, my parents and were I devoting time; I knew my comeback was inevitable," said Emily, who missed that spring softball season with the Fillies.
The family opted for a cadaver tendon in the surgery rather than harvest one from her right knee. As a catcher, her knees take a lot of wear and tear -- and Kolb wanted to be at a peak level behind the plate.
Also, Amy Kolb broke down the mechanics of her daughter's swing, understanding Emily had very short calves and developed a program to strengthen the core.
Kolb's offensive eruption didn't surprise her, but it was eye-opening to Kouts coach Tim McNeill.
"I've always known she can play defense; she's got a fantastic arm," said McNeill, who's seen Kolb play youth softball for several seasons. "Now she's got power, that is a pleasant surprise.
"She's absolutely a complete ballplayer."
Part of that total game involves Kolb's unselfish attitude. Admittedly, Kolb is one of the few Fillies' players on traveling teams. Instead of complaining about the possible difference in ability levels, Kolb imparts the lessons she's learned to younger or less-experienced players.
"Just because you play travel ball, doesn't mean you shouldn't share those advantages with others," Kolb said. "Softball is a team sport, and I want to help out. I'm not necessarily teaching them."
But McNeill said Kolb's teammates are thankful for any support she gives them.
"I hear it every day, how they look up to her," he said. "They see Emily doing something and they want to emulate her."