A successful scholastic and collegiate career on the softball diamond has come to a close for Indian River High School graduate Karlie Smith.
After four stellar seasons wearing the green-and-gold of IRHS, Smith ventured south to East Carolina University and saw four solid campaigns donning the purple-and-gold for the Pirates.
While at IR, she accomplished all-conference and all-state honors in softball, while also lettering in swimming and field hockey. She also helped Delaware to the 2013 Big League Softball World Series title with an 11-6 decision over Puerto Rico.
Her senior year at IR was special, having batted a team-high .426 while also being tops in runs (25), hits (26), RBIs (28) and extra-base hits. She was named the Delaware Women’s Alliance of Sport & Fitness Outstanding Athlete following that senior season.
Her accomplishments academically were even more impressive: National Honor Society and Academic All-Conference, while also earning honor roll all four years at IR.
Smith’s trek south to ECU landed her on a Pirates squad that advanced to the American Athletic Conference playoffs this past season, finishing their 2018 campaign with a 23-31 overall mark. She would start 53 of the team’s 54 games this past season, completing her final season as fourth on the team in home runs (4) and doubles (5), and third on the team in RBIs (19). She was also among the team leaders in runs scored.
“The team camaraderie this past season was something that really stands out,” said Smith, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications, with an emphasis in journalism. “We had a great group of girls. I am going to miss the 6 a.m. workouts and the great bond I had with my teammates.”
A couple of things that stood out during her time at ECU:
“Anytime we beat either UNC [University of North Carolina] or N.C. State,” she recalled with a laugh. “During my freshman year, I had two grand-slams in back-to-back games against UConn [University of Connecticut]. I also got to start my career with a trip to Hawaii, then finished it this year with another trip to Hawaii.”
Smith’s sophomore season was by far the most successful, as she started all 54 games for the Pirates and led the team in batting average at .323, while ranking second in hits (52), doubles (9), RBIs (17) and walks (20). She recorded a team-high 14 multi-hit games, and registered a seven-game hitting streak.
Now, having graduated, Smith has embarked on her professional career.
This summer, she was a part of the Fox Sports crew for the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities, serving as a member of their production crew. She recently took a job at the University of Georgia as a digital media production assistant.
“After graduation, I had thought I would head back north,” Smith admitted. “However, God has a plan for me. I am really excited for the football season coming up at Georgia. I am hoping to get some on-air time, and, hopefully, get to do some work for the SEC Network, kind of head in that direction.”
Karlie Smith is the daughter of Mark and Donna Smith, who were both teachers in the Indian River School District, though both have since retired to their home in Bethany Beach.
By Jason Feather