Tennessee's Erin Edmoundson Ending Her Career On Her Terms
Finishing the 2021 season at Texas Tech with a 7-11 record and a 5.86 ERA wasn’t exactly the way that Erin Edmoundson envisioned her college softball career ending. With great success in previous years, she knew she was capable of a better finish.
Luckily for Edmoundson, there was one more opportunity to complete her time in the sport that raised her. So she jumped into the transfer portal for her fifth season of NCAA eligibility, due to the COVID pandemic, with a mission to give it her all and imprint a lasting memory on her softball career.
“Last year wasn't what I wanted it to be,” Edmoundson said. “It was really hard for me, not performing my best. Being able to finish what I started was something that I really wanted to do. I want to flip that script and put my best foot forward.”
While being in the transfer portal for just a few short days, multiple schools had their eye on the veteran pitcher who was a proven winner in a Power Five Conference. But, ultimately for Edmoundson, she wanted something that would benefit her on and off the field.
It wasn’t until Tennessee reached out that Edmoundson realized the future she could make for herself. With a bachelor’s degree in engineering, gaining a master's degree in business administration was important to her, as well as playing with a team that had a serious shot to make a deep postseason run.
“I didn’t want to look back in 10 years, five years and regret not doing it,” Edmoundson said. “I talked with Megan Rhodes Smith first, the pitching coach here, and I came to campus and really loved it. It is kind of a perfect storm of how it happened.”
The transition to Tennessee ended up being unbelievably easy for Edmoundson. With the same pitching drills and routine she had previously, she could stick to what she knew, but also gain a new perspective from Smith. Watching film of herself was something she had never done before, and Tennessee implementing that into her schedule has enhanced her game this season. So far in 2022, Edmoundson is 9-1 with a 1.15 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 60.2 innings of work.
“I feel like I have been playing with (Tennessee) for years,” Edmoundson said. “I have so much more perspective on my team as a whole, myself as a pitcher and having that film accessibility is really different. I am really big into technical things, so providing that for us is really nice.”
Edmoundson has found her fifth year beneficial in that she can be a role model for the younger arms on Tennessee's pitching staff.
“I have tried to give them perspective on transferring and how thankful they should be for being here,” Edmoundson said.
With the mission to end her softball college career on a high note and have a better season than last year, Edmoundson has already seen a huge change in who she is as a pitcher, which has increased her love for the game.
“I have been trying to prepare as much as possible for games and have the most confidence to show up ready to play,” Edmoundson said. “I think that is a difference I have had just by having two senior years. I have been able to put into perspective that this game won’t last forever. I am taking it one day at a time.”
As for Tennessee's goal to get back to the Women's College World Series this season, Edmoundson believes her team has a real shot to make some noise in May and June. Losing in extra innings to Oklahoma, UCLA and Clemson so far this season has shown what the Vols, who are currently ranked No. 18 in Softball America's Top 25, are capable of.
“I think we are really trying to prove a statement,” Edmoundson said. “We are underrated in some ways. We have been right there with every single team that has potential to be in the World Series. We showed that we can run with the big dogs and we are just as competitive as they are. We are really going to be exciting to watch this year.”