By Steve Svetovich
Sometimes you just get in a groove and it doesn’t stop.
Take Dunmore Lady Bucks junior shortstop Emma Conte, for instance.
Daughter of Rich and Kim Conte, Emma credits her off-season work with former minor league shortstop and Scranton Central and Millersville product Phil Rossi for the great strides she has made with her hitting stroke.
“I worked with Phil Rossi a lot in the off-season months,” she said. “He is just a tremendous private instructor and taught me a lot about hitting in order to improve my game. I have to give him a lot of credit for my improvement.”
Emma is so hot that she went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a double in a 7-5 win over Lakeland on Friday, April 30; 3-for-4 with two RBIs in a 4-3 loss to Carbondale on Monday, April 26; 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs in an 8-7 loss to Holy Cross on Thursday, April 22; and 4-for-4 with two runs, two doubles and four RBIs in a 7-2 win over Riverside on Monday, April 19.
At press time, Emma is hitting a scintillating .581, with six doubles and a homer. She has simply been on a hitting tear all season.
The junior stalwart also plays a fabulous shortstop. “To be a good shortstop in high school softball,” she said, “you need to connect with your team and be a leader. You need to be able to bring a teammate up when they are down. You need to lead the cheering. Make your teammates cheer.”
A vocal leader on the team, Emma said she wants to continue her softball career in college. Not sure yet about a college, Emma said she does want to major in Early Childhood Education and eventually teach young children.
Her hobbies include fishing, hanging with friends, and going to her family beach house in Florida.
She also gives a lot of credit to Dunmore softball coach Ryan Ferguson and his assistant Colleen Ross. “They are both great coaches and taught me a lot.”
Emma’s parents also have been strong mentors. “They teach me how to play with my teammates. Be a leader. Be a team player and good teammate.”
This is Emma’s first year on the Dunmore Lady Bucks softball team. She hit a strong .400 as a freshman at Riverside. Her sophomore softball season was lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then she transferred to Dunmore.
She has a 94 academic average and said her best subject is English. She is a member of the Spanish Club. She also plays volleyball.
At press time her team had a 4-5 record, but she sees a lot of improvement with the team. “We are really playing well together now,” she said. “We are doing well lately and hitting now. This team is going to bring it up a lot. We are going to light it up.”
A confident leader on the team, Emma said her future goals are to continue playing softball and become a teacher. She would like to see Post Malone in concert.
She continued with her praise of Rossi who once led the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League with a .448 average while playing at Dunmore’s Schautz Stadium in the summer of 1975. “He just knows so much about the game.”
Well spoken and talkative, Emma said she is enjoying her experience at Dunmore. “I love it,” she said. “Everyone is so friendly. The softball team is so close.”