This final season for Smith has already passed the halfway point. But even once it’s over, it won’t be too long before Smith returns to competitive athletics, as she said she wants to become a physical therapist.
Smith’s choice of profession comes not only from her love of softball, but her own injuries as well. Smith tore the medial collateral ligament in her knee during a JV game her freshman year, and she rehabbed on her own to return for her sophomore year.
“There was a pop fly between third and catcher, and the catcher slid into my knee,” Smith said of her MCL injury. “And then I continued to play the rest of the game, so that didn’t help.
“I was in a brace for eight weeks, I was in crutches for six.”
Smith said she’s also battled back injuries for the last year and a half.
“It’s never going to stop me from playing the game,” Smith said. “I had to sit out three games this year, which killed me, it being my senior year.
But I got released, so I’m back and ready to play.”
Smith has already attended an athletic training camp at Oklahoma State University. And while she might go there for her undergraduate degree, she said she’ll likely transfer for graduate work.
“I just like helping people, and I always want to be around sports, so I never want to give that up,” Smith said.
Smith said she typically trains for softball year round, spending the offseason working out or playing on McAlester’s summer team. She also enjoys spending time with friends and takes college-level classes at Eastern Oklahoma State College’s McAlester branch.
Often the nine-hole hitter for the Lady Buffs, Smith was batting .306 as of Saturday afternoon with a triple, a home run, six RBIs and four runs scored. Those numbers don’t put Smith at the top of any offensive categories, but what Smith doesn’t provide in offense, she more than makes up for in spirit and attitude.
Contact Matt Goisman at email@example.com.