Emily Reed knows a little something about being part of a program that is on the uprise.
The Galatia-Thompsonvile softball star has the Bearcats in the forefront of softball talk in southern Illinois the last three years, thanks to her dominance in the circle and with her stick.
Now Reed is reserving some time to help another young program get to prominence.
Reed gave the Murray State University softball program a verbal commitment recently and is excited for the path that she has in front of her.
"This is definitely exciting," Reed said. "Murray State is a young program and they have energetic coaches that love the game as much as I do. It's going to be a lot of fun to be a part of a program moving forward."
Currently Reed and the Bearcats are in the IHSA Class 1A Sectional, this after capturing their third straight regional championship.
The junior is hitting .438 for the Bearcats, despite missing nearly two weeks this season due to an injury. She leads the team in steals with 28 and has a 3-3 pitching record.
Reed said the decision to verbally commit takes a ton of pressure off of her, allowing her to focus more on preparing herself for the next level.
"It took me a while to decide," Reed said. "I always knew deep down I wanted to play Division 1 softball and when Murray State made the offer, I knew it was one I couldn't pass up. They're a southern school that's close to home and I'm excited that my family and friends can still come see me play.
"I know that one thing I need to do is work on getting stronger and improving my footwork."
Reed, highly regarded as a pitcher, admits that those days are mostly behind her. While she still splits time in the circle with teammate Larissa Bond, Reed believes her primary position will be a middle infielder.
"I don't know if I'm done as a pitcher, but I'd like to think I'll be used more as a shortstop or pitcher. I've caught some, but it's not one of my favorite positions."
Reed added she wasn't sure what she plans on majoring in, but said it would be something centered around sports.
Reed will graduate from Galatia High School next season. The early signing period for softball will be November 14-21 of 2013. The Regular Period will be from April 17 to August 1 of 2014.
Michael Dann can be reached at mdann@dailyregister.