2022 Daily Leader All-Area Softball Defensive MVP is Felder

Published 11:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2022

Emily Claire Felder, Brookhaven Academy

When Brookhaven Academy needed her to be a workhorse, senior pitcher Emily Claire Felder answered the call.

Standing between the Cougars and the MAIS 5A state championship was a Silliman Institute team that BA knew like the back of its hand. Counting the postseason, the teams faced each other eight times during the season, including a 3-game series for the title.

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On a sun-drenched Saturday in early October, Felder struck out six, walked one and went the distance in the championship clinching 9-5 win for her team.

For her outstanding pitching throughout the season, Felder has been named The Daily Leader All-Area Most Valuable Defensive Player.

Earlier in her career, Felder was able to split innings and starts with Madi Smith, a former pitcher for BA who signed last year with Southwest Mississippi CC.

Smith was injured for much of her senior year though and Felder carried the added load as BA had an earlier than expected exit from the postseason to end her junior season.

Brookhaven Academy coach Becky Flowers knew that her senior hurler would have to do much of the heavy lifting in the circle before the season started and Felder was the catalyst in leading the team to a 32-6-1 record.

She pitched 185 of 233 innings during the run to the first fastpitch state title in school history. Felder struck out 189 batters and issued just 33 walks. Her final record on the year stood at 28-5 and her earned runs average ended at 1.51.

Felder also finished fourth on the team in RBIs with 24 as she hit six doubles, two triples and two homeruns at the plate.

Next up for Felder is college ball at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. The Bulldogs play in the Gulf South Conference with the likes of Delta State and Mississippi College on the NCAA Division II level.

It’s nearly 350 miles from Brookhaven to Union U and Felder will go there to carve out her future as a collegiate student-athlete.

What she’ll leave behind at BA is a championship legacy that doesn’t happen without her grit and determination in the pitching circle.