Puzey does it all

Published 1:32 am Saturday, April 8, 2017

Emerson Puzey was voted Duke Automotive Player of the Week after going 3-3 with three RBIs in an NSA win over John A. Holmes High School. She also had nine strikeouts that game as a pitcher.

Puzey is a junior softball player at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, and a very good one. Her team is currently 10-2 and is ranked No. 2 in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association’s Division II poll.

Puzey is a big part of the team’s success, and because of the team’s versatility, she’s amazed at how well they’ve done so far.

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“All of the wins have been a team effort,” Puzey said. “All throughout the field, we have played well. There are girls who have stepped in positions that they are not necessarily familiar with, and we have had a lot of success.”

As a pitcher, she has a win-loss record of 4-2. As a hitter, she has a batting average of .641 and currently leads the state in RBIs, with 24. She had a goal this year for pitching, and that was to make sure she always stayed ahead in the count. She feels she is improving in that regard.

She loves hitting, especially when runners are in scoring position; it gives her a job and purpose when she is at the plate. Her coach, Brittany Thornburg, appreciates what she brings to the team.

“She has been a huge part of our team,” Thornburg said. “She has a great attitude and truly wants to do her best for the team, no matter what role she’s given. Her and Reese Byrd have become quite the team on the mound. Emerson has also stepped up at the plate and is seeing the ball really well.”

What makes the NSA junior so efficient every game? It’s simple, she said: her approach.

“I like to have a calm and positive mindset right before a game,” she said. “I perform better on the field when I am relaxed and enjoying the game, rather than tensing up.”

Puzey is a solid and intense athlete whose mechanics for the game of softball set her apart. However, she is always looking to improve any way she can as a player. The desire to play, her family, her teammates and her coaches all motivate her.

“They set the mentality,” Puzey said. “The mentality that anytime we step into any position on the field that we are here to win, no matter what opponent.”

The junior is inspired by her friends as well. One of her closest friends is Lauryn Bailey, a King’s Fork High School senior softball player.

“She’s a very hard worker with a positive attitude,” Puzey said. “She is always trying her best to improve as an athlete. She taught me so much about softball that I didn’t even know existed. Because of that, she helped me grow as an athlete.”

When Puzey has free time, she likes to spend it with her family.

Catch Puzey and the NSA softball team in action at home for their Pink Game at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.