Editor’s note: This profile on Carrie Embree ’07 is the fourth in a 13-part series written by Valerie Turgeon ’13 on the alumni who will be inducted into the St. Thomas Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 19. Read a new profile every weekday in tommiesports.com.
For more information or to sign-up online for the induction banquet, click here:
Carrie Embree ’07 was a dually talented athlete during her five years at St. Thomas, earning honors and awards in softball and basketball.
She has played softball since she was in second grade and continued through high school, focusing on the sport even though she also enjoyed –- and excelled at -– basketball.
“I wanted to commit 100 percent to training and concentrating on learning the game as best as I could,” she said about her preference for softball. “Also, I tore my ACL my senior year in high school, so that made me shy away from playing both sports.”
Embree was a four-year starter in softball at St. Thomas, twice receiving NCAA Division III All-America and Academic All-America honors. She was named to the College World Series all-tournament team as a freshman in 2004, was national base runner of the year in 2006 and led the Tommies to a 179-18 record, including national titles in 2004 and 2005 and second place in 2006.
“As a team, we worked hard for the national championships, so I consider them my biggest accomplishment because we did it all together,” she said.
A career .466 hitter, Embree set the MIAC softball record for hits in a season (80) and ranks in the top five in the MIAC with 218 career hits. She also broke the conference record for career steals (109) and scored 160 runs in 172 games. As a pitcher, she had a 5.8-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and built a 1.03 ERA and 20-3 record.
In Embree’s fifth year at St. Thomas, she decided to play basketball. She found the transition from softball fairly easy because “there are a lot of elements that go back and forth. There’s the mindset that was transferred to basketball – the determination, drive and winning mindset.”
She gave Tommie basketball a boost, playing center on an MIAC co-champion team and becoming the first conference basketball player, male or female, to win Player of the Year in their first (and her only) season of competition.
Between the two sports, Embree played on teams with a 117-7 record against MIAC opponents (98-2 softball and 19-5 basketball), won conference championships all five years and became the first MIAC woman to play on two NCAA title teams and twice make All-America and Academic All-America.
“I met lifelong friends and coaches who have guided and supported me to get where I am now,” she said. “The games, practices, friendships, classroom sessions and memories all taught me lessons on and off the field. I couldn’t be happier with how my experience pushed me to maximize my potential.”
After graduation, Embree continued to pursue her passion –- softball -– by playing for the New England Riptide in the National Pro Fastpitch League in 2008.
Today, she is a 9th grade physical education teacher at Prairieview School in her hometown of Waukee, Iowa, where she has taught for five years and has been married for two. She also has been the women’s strength and conditioning coach for two years and varsity softball coach for three years at Waukee High School, and she gives softball lessons and instructs camps in the area.
She looks forward to reconnecting with St. Thomas friends at the Hall of Fame ceremony.
“I am humbled,” she said. “I give huge credit to the people who helped me. It’s just an honor knowing that hard work pays off.”
Jake Barkley 2003 Football
Nikki Conway 2006 Softball
Roman Cress 2003 Track & Field
Carrie Embree 2007 Softball, Basketball
Jane Gibbs-Becker 2004 Volleyball
Kristal Grigsby 2006 Track & Field
Andrew Hilliard 2003 Track & Field, Football
Diane Loughlin Urick 1989 Track & Field, Cross Country
Janet Nagle 2006 Softball
Steve Pignato 1997 Baseball
Isaac Rosefelt 2007 Basketball
Tessie Thompson 2003 Soccer
Michelle Wong 2005 Softball