Friday, March 16, 2012
Cal-Hi Sports State Athlete of the Week
By Harold Abend
Nebraska-bound and 4.0 GPA student-athlete Emily Lockman pitched Norco to the championship of the Dave Kops Tournament of Champions last week at Mojave High in Bullhead City, Arizona.
Norco’s Emily Lockman knows how to lock down the plate as a big-time softball pitcher. She’s proven to be particularly good in tournament play, such as in last weekend’s Arizona Tournament of the Champions.
When Norco High’s Emily Lockman was a freshman, the Cougars took home the trophy at the prestigious Dave Kops Tournament of Champions in Bullhead City, Arizona.
That was in 2009 when Lockman was the backup pitcher for current Stanford star Teagan Gerhart.
Now, as a senior, it was Emily’s turn to shine in the circle at Mojave High, and the right-hander came through with flying colors.
After getting wins over California’s Mission Viejo, Valencia, Fountain Valley and Chino Hills, on a combined 19 hits and two runs, Lockman faced nationally ranked Pacifica of Garden Grove in the title game.
The Nebraska-bound 4.0 GPA student-athlete pitched a complete-game, five-hit, 4-0 shutout with five strikeouts and no walks to earn tournament MVP honors. Last year, she was the most valuable pitcher at the Michelle Carew Classic in Anaheim, another high-level event.
Earlier this week, “Em” as her teammates call her, had a one-hitter in a 6-0 win over crosstown Roosevelt that got the Cougars to 6-0 on the season and No. 1 in the Cal-Hi Sports just released state rankings.
For her performances last week, so far this week, and throughout her high school career, plus earning a Division I college scholarship, Lockman has been named the ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports State Athlete of the Week.
So far this season going into a Friday afternoon contest with Big 8 League perennial power and arch rival Santiago of Corona, Lockman had pitched 42 innings and faced 156 batters while only giving up two runs and 25 hits, with 32 strikeouts and only four walks. She had a 0.33 ERA.
Unlike many top-notch pitchers, Lockman hits. She was averaging .333 with a double, four RBIs and two runs scored in 18 at-bats.
Last season when she was named Cal-Hi Sports All State Underclass First Team, Lockman posted a 21-7 record with a 1.08 ERA and 154 strikeouts. Emily also excelled at the plate, batting .406 with nine doubles, three home runs and 31 RBIs.
Comparisons to Gerhart
“I knew you were going to ask me about that. We’re always compared,” Lockman chuckled.
“I love Teagan, and I learned a lot from her. I even still talk to her, but we’re totally different. She’s quiet and throws really hard. I like to mess around with my teammates and my pitching style is different.”
“I have a drop, change, curve, screw and a rise-ball. I top out at about 64 (MPH).”
“With Bullhead, we really got to see how to work together.”
It was also a time for Emily and her best friend on the team, Cal-bound Kylie Reed, with whom she’s known since age 8, and has starred with on the Corona Angels, to show leadership.
“If we’re having a bad day, we know how to fix it. We try to show the other girls confidence and the mental side is 90 percent of the game.”
“She has her moments like all girls, but she’s been fun,” said 13-year Norco coach and social science teacher Rick Robinson.
“She’s always been very good, but this year she has a whole different approach, more relaxed. I think having her little sister on the team helps,” continued Robinson, who’s won two CIF Southern Section titles at Norco and another one in five previous years at Corona Centennial.
Little big sister and the family
“My little sister teases me because she’s three inches taller than me,” says big sis about Norco freshman infielder Abby Lockman.
Her parents, Don Lockman, a football and baseball player who currently works for Boeing, and Kelly Lockman, a middle-school teacher who played softball, basketball and volleyball in college, are Emily’s biggest fans.
“They’re always in my corner. I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am without them.”
“Playing for the Corona Angels has been amazing. (Angels coach) Marty (Tyson) has been like a second dad.”
College and future plans
“I want to work with athletes and I like working with people so I’m going to major in sports business management and minor in psychology.”
“When I arrived in Nebraska I loved it there. Snow on the ground, beautiful campus, perfect football field, and the coaches are some of the best people I’ve ever met.”
Food: “I have a lot of nicknames but my favorite is one my grandma gave me, ‘Cupcake.’ It’s my favorite food.”
Player: “Stephany LaRosa of UCLA. I played travel ball with her.”
Music: “Before games, I listen to hip-hop and rap. After games, I listen to country.”
Car: “A black BMW with black trim.”
Best advice from a coach
“To stay within myself, because sometime I try to overthrow, overkill. I’m not the fastest out there, so I have to focus on what I can do, moving the ball around and changing speeds.”
Three things Emily looks forward to in college
“Softball, education and friends I’m going to make.”
Tips for youngsters
“Stay focused. Don’t let anyone or anything get in your way. Work hard in school because hard work in the classroom leads to working hard on the field – and never give up.”
You can send AOW nominations to email@example.com or tweet them to us @CalHiSports. Don't forget to follow Harold Abend on Twitter: @HaroldAbend