Emma Kindblom '17 leads team to College World Series
For most people at Wilbraham & Monson Academy who know Emma Kindblom ’17, they really weren’t surprised to see she made it to the top of the mountain.
Excited for her? Yes, absolutely. But surprised? No, not at all.
Emma, one of the top athletes to ever don a WMA jersey, helped her Manhattan College softball team to the Women’s College World Series, the pinnacle for Division I softball players.
Emma, who was named team Most Valuable Player her senior year at WMA in Field Hockey, Indoor Track and Softball, was named to the All-Championship team after her Jaspers went 3-0 as the sixth seed to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, beating Canisius 6-3 in the final.
The conference title automatically qualified Manhattan for the WCWS. Manhattan had a tough draw and fell to Arkansas and Stanford. Emma, though, made the most of her experience, getting a single off Mary Haff, the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year and a First Team All-America selection.
Emma graduated from Manhattan with a degree in Exercise Science. She will attend Ithaca College in New York to pursue her master’s degree. With college student-athletes being granted an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19, she will play one more season of college softball, this time at the Division III level.
Quotes from Emma
What was it like to make a run and win the MAAC? “Getting to the MAAC tournament was an expectation, and winning was our goal. Being able to go out to Buffalo, win two games to make it to the finals, play Canisius in the final on their home field and win was amazing. It proved how badly we wanted to win and how much we sacrificed to get there.”
What was your experience like at the College World Series? “Being able to play in the NCAA Regionals portion of the WCWS was a dream come true. I grew up watching these games on TV, so it’s crazy now being on a team that made it to the NCAA tournament. Knowing that people all over the country were watching us play didn’t make me nervous, but made me proud to play the sport I love. What made me really proud though was the fact that the WCWS averaged 60-percent more viewers than the men’s did. This alone shows how much our sport has evolved and that it deserves more attention.”
What was it like experiencing all of this as a senior? “To be able to accomplish all of this my senior year and help lead my team to the NCAA tournament as a captain was everything I could’ve hoped for. I was incredibly lucky to be a part of the Jaspers softball program. I learned and grew so much as a player and person while at Manhattan College and am grateful for everyone who helped me along the way.”
How did WMA prepare you for your college experience? “WMA gave me the tools I needed to succeed as a Division I student-athlete. ‘Live Clean, Speak True, Work Hard, Play Fair.’ This phrase stuck with me and helped guide me through my student-athlete experience at Manhattan College.”