There have been outstanding pitchers and outstanding hitters in the Gordon Lee High School fastpitch program over the years, but perhaps no player has had the combination of skill sets quite like Emma Minghini.
The hard-throwing and sweet-swinging senior lefty fulfilled a childhood dream this past Tuesday by signing with what she called her "dream school", Georgia Tech.
"My parents went there, the education there is just amazing and the coaches are great," she said, shortly before signing her letter of intent in front of family, coaches and friends in a ceremony at GLHS. "I just love big cities, so Atlanta was a perfect fit for me.
"Today is awesome. I'm thankful to everyone that supports me. It just all comes together when you see everyone here that loves you and supports you."
"She's the full package," said GL head coach Dana Mull. "Obviously it starts with her pitching and she's just done a tremendous job for us for the last four years. She's also been a great hitter and this year she really had a great year offensively, even more of a breakout year than she usually has."
Did she ever.
Batting third in a potent Lady Trojan lineup, Minghini had a team-high .520 average to go with 12 doubles, four triples and a pair of homeruns. She knocked in 43 runs, scored 39 times and slugged .775 with 11 stolen bases.
In the circle, she compiled a 15-3 record with a 0.78 ERA in 107.1 innings of work, fanning 168 batters and walking just 28.
A second team All-State selection as a freshman and a first team All-State pick the past two seasons, including Class A Public School Pitcher of the Year honors in 2018, Minghini ended her Gordon Lee career with four region championships and four state titles.
She hit .450 for her career and drove in 110 runs, while going 60-6 in the circle with a 0.81 ERA. In 378.1 innings, she struck out 508 batters and issued just 63 walks.
Minghini also earned a ASA/USA national championship with the Tennessee Mojo in 2018 and she is currently ranked as the 60th best pitcher in the nation by Extra Inning Softball (EIS).
"She's also a great first baseman and makes great plays over there," Mull added. "She'd be a tremendous asset anywhere she went, but Georgia Tech is getting a really good one, on and off the field."
Recruited primarily as a pitcher, Minghini said she hoped to continue to hit and play in the field with the Jackets.
"I hope I can be a great player that does whatever the coaches need me to do," she said. "I'm going to bring a great attitude to the program, along with my athletic abilities. Whatever they need me to do, I'm ready to do."
Mull said that Minghini's biggest areas of improvement over the past four seasons have been in her confidence and in the mental aspect of the game.
"Her mental game has just gotten so much stronger, especially this year, just trusting herself and her teammates," Mull added. "Physically, she's always been great, but now she's mentally ready to go to the next level."
Minghini is also part of a Georgia Tech recruiting class ranked 17th in the nation by EIS. That class also includes two more top-line pitchers in Etowah's Kinsey Norton and another local product in Coahulla Creek's Sophia Voyles.
"It's going to be fun," she added. "I think we're just going to keep getting better with our recruiting classes."
Minghini plans to major in biomedical engineering.