Throwing a no-hitter does not come often for some pitchers, but it just seems to be natural for 11 year-old Emily Botts.
Throwing for the Southern Heat squad out of Ecru, the West Union native has pitched eight so far this year, with her most recent coming on July 10.
And just for kicks, she added a perfect game three days earlier, helping lead her team to a state championship.
In the two games, Botts registered nine strikeouts in the perfect game and eight in the no-hitter. Both outings came against a Neshoba County-based team, 8-0 and 11-0, respectively.
Botts has known nothing but softball, as she began playing at age two and organized ball at age four. Now playing for the Southern Heat, she has the opportunity to compete with girls from around the area and is looking forward to her second trip to the World Series in Southaven.
The biggest credit to her game comes from her pitching coach, Jason Taylor. The father of one of the top pitchers to come through Union County recently, Taylor has worked with several on the staff of the Southern Heat, who combined to allow only two runs and one hit in their state tournament appearance.
“He’s very tough, but he’s a good coach and I enjoy working with him,” Botts said.
Now Botts and the Southern Heat are preparing for the World Series, which will take place from July 20-24.
“I’m excited,” Botts said. “I’ve made a lot of friends with the team and it’s fun for us to play for a World Series championship. I thank them for helping me defensively accomplish what I have.”