On Monday, July 22, Hatton softball star Emma Latham signed her letter of intent to play softball at the University of North Alabama.
It was a special moment just for the fact that one of Hatton’s most decorated athletes of all time was inking to further her athletic career.
However, it was most special because it was a moment that almost didn’t come to fruition.
Heading into her senior year, Latham wasn’t sure if she would continue her career past her senior season at Hatton. The grind of a life of playing softball had taken its toll.
“I thought I was burnt out honestly,” said Latham.
But in the end, the draw of the sport she loved was too much to pass up.
“During the state tournament it started to hit me that it was really about to be over,” Latham said. “That’s when I realized I didn’t want it to be.”
The close relationships she had with head coach Denton Bowling and teammates helped her easily make her decision.
“Coach Bowling, he kind of helped me make up my mind,” she said. “He stayed on me that I could go wherever I wanted to and he helped me get there.”
For Bowling, it was a bittersweet moment as he says goodbye to his star pupil.
“She’s so special in so many ways. She’s the ultimate competitor and you don’t just get in the state record book with as many things as she’s in,” Bowling said. “She’s as much as a five tool player that I’ve ever been around and the things she’s able to do in the diamond are phenomenal.”
Despite having to say goodbye though, Bowling is glad to see such a talented player not end her career just yet.
“It’s important for me as a coach, not because I’ve coached a talent like her, but to see a kid not give up on her dream,” he said. “To think for a minute that she had lost the desire and the love for the game, it hurt.But to turn around and see her step in and play and realize she still wants to do this, I think that shows what kind o