Former Lamar Consolidated pitcher Emily Otto helped Texas A&M-Commerce in its run in the NCAA Division II softball tournament, while also being named the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association South Central Pitcher of the Year.
Otto, a sophomore, opened the tournament in the South Central Region with a 3-0 win over Dixie State on Thursday. She pitched her 23rd complete game of the year and earned her 27th win. She tied her season-high with nine strikeouts and gave up just three hits.
“I felt good going into the game,” Otto said after the game. “I fed off of my team’s effort to have my back both on offense and defense. They made great plays today. The plays they were making pumps me up. I just throw it and let them shine.”
Otto then pitched her second consecutive shutout of the tournament in a 2-0 win over Tarleton State on Friday. She allowed just two hits with six strikeouts, earning her 28th win of the season.
But the Lions’ run in the NCAA tournament ended on Saturday as they lost two games to Cameron in the South Central Region 2 championship. Otto threw in both games, including her 25th complete game of the season in Game 2, a 6-5 loss when Cameron won on a walk-off home run. Cameron won the first game, 13-9.
Otto was also named the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association South Central Pitcher of the Year, while being named first-team All-South Central Region.
Otto became the first pitcher in program history to be named the Lone Star Conference Pitcher of the Year. She leads the South Central Region with 27 wins and also leads the region with 12 shutouts. She is holding hitters to a .190 average, has an ERA of 1.84 and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.7-to-1.
Otto set numerous single-season records, including wins, strikeouts, shutouts, and complete games. She is a four-time Lone Star Conference Pitcher of the Week and a two-time National Pitcher of the Week. She is also a top-25 finalist for NFCA National Player of the Year. She is now eligible for D2CCA National Pitcher of the Year and D2CCA All-America status.
“For Otto to do what she’s done, we’ve leaned on her all year and she’s pitched some great ballgames for us,” Commerce head coach Richie Bruister said. “She has pitched a lot of shutouts and has given our offense a chance to score enough runs to win. She’s been fun to watch and has been very consistent in the circle. We are extremely proud of her.”