LOWELL | Her team may be a little shorthanded for this weekend’s Twin Lakes Invitational, but Lowell’s Emma Littrell is looking forward to the approximate 60-mile trip south for another reason.
Some of her teammates, like other teams making the trip to the largest high school softball invite in the state, will be attending prom today. Littrell, a senior, will stay with her softball team, and it will be worth it based on who will be watching.
“I’m really excited because my college coach will be there to see me for the first time in high school,” Littrell said, referring to St. Joseph’s College coach Diane Stephenson.
Littrell will be a Puma in the fall after being recruited during travel ball season while playing for the Shock Wave Gold out of Indianapolis.
Don’t feel too bad for her not attending prom. She’s good with it.
“If you’re into dancing, I guess it’s okay,” she joked.
Littrell would rather be swinging a bat.
“Hitting is awesome,” said the part-time catcher, part-time designated player who has three home runs this season.
Twin Lakes will be a good chance for Littrell to show Stephenson the intestinal fortitude and skill that Lowell coach Pete Iussig has known about for a couple years, especially this season.
“I tell the kids big players step up in big games, and that’s what Emma did last week against Munster,” Iussig said.
That was a loss for Lowell, giving the Mustangs a two-game lead in the conference with three to go, but Littrell had four hits and did everything she could to keep the Red Devils in the game despite tough circumstances.
“She was still recovering from a sprained ankle and her uncle passed away the day before, and she still stepped up,” Iussig said. “Her leadership comes from such a positive attitude.”
Coming through in big games started early this season for Littrell. In the second game of the season against Boone Grove, she blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to tie the contest, and had the game-winning RBI single in the ninth inning.
She also had a home run last week against Highland during the time she was dealing with the ankle injury.
“She was limping around the bases — it looked worse than Kirk Gibson,” Iussig said, recalling a famous Major League Baseball World Series home run in 1988.
Littrell is an anomaly in Lowell’s offense. She’s left handed and hits for power. Most of the time over the years, lefties at Lowell turn into slap hitters, which Iussig is fond of, though he recalled a couple other left-handed power hitters.
“I’m not fast enough to be a slapper,” Littrell joked. “Girls are getting stronger as power hitters now.”
It’s been a good season for the Red Devils, but there have been some close losses in which one inning dooms them. Littrell hopes they’ve gotten those out of their system.
“Most of the games we’ve lost it’s just one bad inning,” she said. “We could even be better … I think we’re coming together at the right time.”