For Emilee Buringa, reaching base safely seems to come naturally.
Even though the former high school catcher wasn’t heavily recruited and came to NDSU as a walk-on, she managed to lead the Bison in on-base percentage (.412) and batting average (.348). And although the sample size is small, she only had 46 at-bats while Stephanie Soriano led the team with 134, Buringa showed a ton of promise in her first campaign.
In addition to her promise at the plate, Buringa managed to swipe three bases, which is only a sneak peek into what she is capable of considering she was able to steal 118 bases in her high school career.
How and why did you decide to come to NDSU?
My brother is a year older than me and he decided to go to NDSU. When he was up here on a visit, I came with him and really liked it. When it came time to make a decision, I picked NDSU because I liked it on the tour and softball just ended up working out.
So softball wasn’t in the picture?
No. I ran into Coach Mueller walking around here on the visit and he told me to come to their camp. I went to the camp the fall of my senior year and got recruited as a preferred walk-on from there.
Playing time is never assumed for a true freshman, but it’s especially not for a preferred walk-on. How did you make sure that you were ready to go once you got the opportunity?
I just had my mind set on trying to do whatever the team needed me to do. The first part of the year, I was really a cheerleader, trying to be as loud as possible in the dugout. Then, I just tried to take advantage of opportunities as they were there for me.
GP: 29 2B: 1
GS: 18 RBI: 3
AB: 46 SLG%: .370
AVG: .348 BB: 4
R: 11 O BP: .412
H: 16 SB: 3
Is there anything you’ve been specifically trying to work on from last year to this year?
I’ve been trying to work specifically on my angles in the outfield so I can be quicker to the ball. At the plate, I’m trying to be quicker to the ball and not have such a long swing.
In high school, you were a Catcher and an Outfielder. Were you comfortable in the outfield when you got here?
I would say Outfield was always my main position. I was always more of an Outfielder that caught as opposed to a Catcher that played outfield. So, I wasn’t uncomfortable being out there. However, there was a lot to learn about playing Outfield in college compared to high school. Once I got that down, I was pretty comfortable.
Last season, you had quite a bit of success at the plate. Was there anything you changed in your approach as you moved up to the next level?
I bunt a lot. So, in high school, I would just bunt and hit. But here, Darren has been working on slapping with me.
Do you have a favorite part of the game?
I really enjoy baserunning.
What can people find you doing in your free time?
I’m a big family person. Like I said, my brother goes to school here. So, we’ll spend time together watching football and things like that.
Did having your brother on campus make the transition to college easier?
Definitely, my brother and I are really close.