Former Herd softball player dies in car wreck


File Photo

Former Marshall softball player, Emileigh Cooper at bat fall of 2015.

Former Marshall softball player Emileigh Cooper died Friday after sustaining injuries from a car accident.

Cooper played for the Herd from 2012 through the 2015 season.

Marshall athletics expressed its state of mourning and loss in a released statement.

“The Marshall athletics family joins our softball program and the Cooper family in its time of loss,” the department statement said. “The Huntington and Marshall communities are a tight-knit group and when one of our athletic programs is hurting, we all are.

Our deepest condolences go out to Emileigh’s family and the Marshall softball team. Emileigh was not only a proud Marshall alum, but had already started her journey to show other young athletes the way and we are very proud of her for that accomplishment. She will be greatly missed by all those in the Marshall family and she will forever be a daughter of Marshall.”

Softball head coach Shonda Stanton released her own statement lamenting the loss of the former player.

“To say you love every player the same that comes through your program is just not true,” Stanton said. “If that were the case, it would mean that the care and love you have for that person is replaceable or somehow limited to the amount that it has to be shared. (Emileigh) was a special person and the profound sense of heartbreak that we all are feeling demonstrates the measure of that irreplaceable feeling.

We loved Coop so much because of the passion, energy and drive that she brought to our Herd family daily. She was truly a unique and special person that challenged me to be a better coach and her teammates to always be all in.

When you walked into Emileigh’s world, you were walking straight into the fun zone and she could always make you smile. I am forever changed for the impact she had on my life, my family and Marshall softball.

We lost a young woman in the prime of her life and we ask that you pray for her parents, Jodi and Butch, and her siblings, Sharissa and Billy, and her nephew, Baron. Please lift up her teammates and all those who have worn the green and the white that have been touched by this tremendous loss.”

As a senior last season, Cooper posted a career-best .434 batting average, which is the second-best single-season mark in school history. Cooper also hit five doubles and three home runs with 13 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.

Cooper collected several accolades during her Marshall career for her work on the field and in the classroom.

In 2015, Cooper was named to the all-conference second team and was also selected to the NFCA Mideast All-Region second team.

Cooper was a four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and was a C-USA Academic Medalist as well a NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete in 2012.