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Kresley put teammates first

Tatum Kresley was going to be a class of one on this year’s Emmaus varsity softball team.

Kresley, the only senior on the team’s roster, spent her first two varsity seasons playing for Bethlehem Catholic before transferring to Emmaus for her junior season so she could finish out her high school days with friends she grew up with.

Kresley quickly made her impact known when she broke the team record for hits in a season last year with 51 hits.

When she looked forward to the 2020 season, there was the challenge of possibly resetting her own record and she was looking forward to moving back to the pitching circle thanks to the exit of her friend Hannah Palinkas, who graduated after last season.

“It was going to be a really exciting year because I was looking forward to pitching, but more importantly, I thought we had a chance to be a pretty good team again this year and that was going to be really special since it was my senior year,” said Kresley.

With spring sports never getting a chance to start, Kresley and other seniors were robbed of great memories and more time with friends.

Emmaus head coach Brittany D’Agostino described Kresley as a “selfless player who is always more concerned about the girls on her left and right than she is about herself.”

That proved true with Kresley’s first comments about the lost season.

“I was relieved that I was the only senior on the team,” said Kresley. “It’s tough because I feel defeated and like I had something really good taken away and I wouldn’t have wanted any of the other girls to have that for the memory of their senior season.”

With her offensive heroics last season, which included going over the 100-hit mark for her high school career, Kresley was set to move from left field back to pitching where she spent a lot of her time while at Bethlehem Catholic. When she returned to Emmaus, Palinkas was entrenched as the ace, so Kresley moved to left field and waited her turn.

“I grew up with Hannah and we’re really good friends, so it was fine that she was pitching,” said Kresley. “She was always a little better than me and I was okay with that because I was going to get to play anyway.”

Kresley isn’t just popular with teammates, but through her time playing both high school and tournament softball, she has made friends from various high school’s around the area. One of those friends is Alexa Berger, a senior at Liberty High School. When Berger’s teammate and classmate, Paige Zigmund, was looking to do a video project, Berger contacted Kresley.

“They had the idea of doing a video that would feature players from around the EPC appearing to throw a softball to each other. We each recorded our own little section and sent it to them and they edited it together,” Kresley said. When each of the players caught the ball they would look into the camera and say “we’re in this together.” That video gave Kresley an idea for a follow-up video that was even a little quirkier.

“I had seen other teams do all kinds of funny things on videos and I came up with the idea to have each of our players record themselves taking something really strange out of their refrigerator,” said Kresley.

Each snippet was edited together for a team video of Emmaus softball players pulling things from the family cat to small appliances out of their refrigerator. “It was fun to do, and we at least have something to remind us of our time together since we didn’t have this season.”

Just as Kresley looked forward to her senior season, her thoughts are now focused on her college career at Rider University, where she will major in education. Kresley has it all mapped out to become a teacher and coach softball, hopefully somewhere in the Lehigh Valley.

“I think that would be great to do down the road,” said Kresley. “Even more than that though, my freshman softball season is all I think about since the season was canceled. I can’t wait to have that next opportunity.”

PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBTatum Kresley returned to Emmaus to play her final two sesasons, but she was only able to play one. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_