Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone
Thundering Herd Community Mourns the Loss of Emileigh Cooper

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall athletics mourns the loss of former Marshall softball player Emileigh Cooper (Jackson, Ohio). Cooper passed away Friday evening due to injuries sustained in a car accident.

Cooper played from 2012 through the 2015 season for the Herd. Her senior year was a career best as she hit .434, good for second all-time in program history. She was one of a Marshall-record five players to record 50 or more hits (53) with five doubles, three home runs and 12 stolen bases.


“The Marshall athletics family joins our softball program and the Cooper family in its time of loss,” the department said in a statement. “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.”


She spent most of 2015 batting in the nine spot giving Marshall an extra offensive weapon to help turn the lineup back over to the top. Cooper was a major driving force behind the best offensive season in Marshall softball history. Herdzone.com columnist Jack Bogaczyk featured her amazing season in a story from March 18, 2015.


Cooper helped the Herd achieve greatness by advancing to the Conference USA Tournament Championship Game three-straight seasons (2012-14) and winning the title in 2013. Marshall advanced to its first ever NCAA Regional tournament in Lexington, Ky. She scored the second run of the game against Notre Dame in the Herd’s 3-1 win over the Irish.


In 2015, Cooper was named to second-team All-Conference USA as well as being selected NFCA Mideast All-Region second team. She was a four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and was a C-USA Academic Medalist in 2012. Cooper was named a NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete in 2012 as well.


Statement from Marshall softball Head Coach Shonda Stanton:


“To say you love every player the same that comes through your program is just not true. 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. She 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 be 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 MUSB. We lost a young woman in the prime of her life and we ask that you pray for her parents Jodi & 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 white that have been touched by this tremendous loss.”