Hawaii Grown Report:
Emmsley-Chang hopes to be back on field soon
The road to recovery for Creighton junior Lau Emmsley-Chang
(Kamehameha '05) has been anything but smooth.
Emmsley-Chang's stellar sophomore season, in which she made 51 starts and hit .284 for the Blue Jays softball team, came to a stunning end in the Mountain Valley Conference tournament game when she tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.
She has rehabbed the injury for the last nine months, but hasn't been cleared to participate yet this season.
She hopes that changes on Monday.
"I'm literally on the brink of being done," Emmsley-Chang said. "I'm just waiting for the doctors to say that I'm OK. We start out spring break tournament (next week) and get to play Arizona, Arizona State and BYU. It'd be nice to play in those."
ACL tears require at least three weeks after the initial injury before having the surgery needed to repair it. She returned home after the season to have it done, but is rehabbing it with doctors in Nebraska, which has made the rehab process last much longer.
"The doctors here didn't do (the surgery), so they are being extra careful," Emmsley-Chang said. "Now that it's all healed, I'm working to strengthen the muscles around it to prevent it from tearing again."
She hopes to return to the field and continue her rise from walk-on to regular starter. Emmsley-Chang originally went to Creighton on an academic scholarship and tried out for the team on her own. By the end of her freshman year, she was the team's starting right fielder.
"Kamehameha prepares you very well for the things you have to do and what to expect," Emmsley-Chang said. "It's hard to get recruited out of Hawaii, so you just have to go walk on somewhere and give it a try. Fortunately it has worked out."
» Whittier senior Sheryl Fukuda (Iolani '04) singled, scored two runs and drove in two more in a 10-1 win over California Lutheran. Fukuda has started all eight games at second base this season and is hitting .278 and has a .435 on-base percentage.
» East Carolina sophomore Charina Sumner (Kamehameha '06) went 6-for-18 with two extra-base hits and six RBIs as the Pirates went 5-0 to win the Pirate Invitational last weekend. Cristen Aona (Punahou '06) had three hits and drove in three runs and Kaui Tom (Kamehameha '06) finished 5-for-13 with a homer and four runs scored.
» Redlands junior second baseman Dory Baga (University '05) doubled and drove in three runs in a doubleheader split with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Sophomore Nicole Nakata (Roosevelt '06) is an outfielder for CMS, but did not play in either game.
» Washington State senior Derrick Low
(Iolani '04) helped the Cougars sweep a road trip against Oregon State and Oregon with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, against the Ducks. Low had 21 points and three steals in a 13-point victory over the Beavers two nights earlier.
» Lewis & Clark senior Gene Rivera (Maui '04) had six points, three rebounds and two assists in 33 minutes of an 82-77 loss to Willamette. Rivera has started all 21 games for the Pioneers and leads the team in rebounding. Sophomore Tyler Tsukazaki (Maryknoll '06) has played in 16 games and averages 6 minutes a contest.
» Pepperdine junior Taylor Smith
(Kalaheo '05) came off the bench to chip in 14 points and eight rebounds in an 86-81 loss to Santa Clara. She finished with three points and seven rebounds two days later in a win over Saint Mary's (Calif.).
» Concordia freshman Nicole Fu (Maryknoll '07) scored a game-high 21 points on 6-for-13 shooting and added five rebounds, four steals and three assists in a six-point loss at Point Loma Nazarene. Fu has started in 23 of 25 games for the Lady Eagles this season and is second on the team in scoring, averaging just over nine points a game. Senior Ginger Gravelle (Iolani '04) has appeared in nine games.
» California Lutheran senior Tiffany Shim (Kamehameha '03) had 10 points and three rebounds and junior guard Cheryl Lee (Maryknoll '05) added six points and three boards in a 67-45 win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
» Menlo College junior Kelci Fushikoshi (Lahainaluna '05) had eight points and five rebounds as the Lady Oaks ended the regular season with a 62-55 win over Dominican University. Senior Kepua Lee (Moanalua '04), a two-time conference MVP and the school's all-time leader in points, rebounds and steals, checked into the game to inbounds the ball in the final eight seconds. She had her career cut short after tearing an ACL in a game last month.