Hundreds of thoughts flashed through infielder Mary-Hannah Smith’s mind as she geared up to make quick contact with the pitch rushing toward her.
“Do your best and forget the rest.”
The crowd roared when the smash of the hard softball against Smith’s bat echoed across the stadium. The softball climbed higher and higher across Lafayette Field in Easton, Pennsylvania, soaring over the fence.
Smith, then a freshman, had just hit her first home run of many. Now entering her senior season, Smith has been named Preseason Patriot League Player of the Year after being named a first team All-Patriot League selection following last season.
“I am very competitive,” Smith said. “I want to be aggressive and win, and bring others along with me in my future, (which will) help me succeed both this season, as well as post-graduation.”
Smith had 67 hits for the Mountain Hawks last season with a batting average of .368. She finished second in batting average while posting 15 doubles and 30 RBIs.
Smith credits her father and mother for her successes and uses their advice to stay aggressive and motivated during the season.
“For me, my dad was an intricate part of my softball career growing up,” Smith said. “My dad and I would go hit all the time, and the number one thing he would always tell me was to be aggressive. No matter what, just always be aggressive. I still think about that today. If I am struggling, I think about those words.”
Smith’s mother gave her advice to support herself off the field, too. Smith said when she switched from the engineering school to the business school, she was worried about graduating on time and finding a job.
‘Do your best and forget the rest,’ is a mantra her mother told her and continues to preach to get her through difficult times.
“Especially regarding my life outside of softball, she would always encourage me to believe in myself…And, thanks to my mom’s encouragement and the mantra ‘do your best and forget the rest,’ I am on track to graduate in May and have secured a job after college,” Smith said. “That is probably my biggest achievement thus far.”
Smith’s aggressiveness and motivation to succeed in all aspects of her life made her a role model to her teammates.
Freshman infielder Emily Cimino credits her positive mindset to Smith’s advice.
“As soon as I came onto this team, she took me under her wing,” Cimino said. “If I had a question, she always answered with an overwhelming amount of confidence and support. I know that we are able to connect so well because we have such similar mindsets. We both want to do what will make us the most successful, and we will not settle for anything less.”
Senior catcher Emily Preble also commented on Smith’s ability to strive to maximize every opportunity as an athlete and as a student.
Preble said she appreciates Smith’s passion for everything she does and said it is one of Smith’s traits she loves the most.
“We both share that vigor, which is why we initially connected,” Preble said.
Smith is motivated to be a leader for the Mountain Hawks this year as she looks to guide the team to a Patriot League Championship.
“I think and I know that we are more than capable of playing with those bigger teams,” Smith said. “The NCAA regional tournament places you against larger schools. I want us to be able to play right there with them. That is my overarching goal.”
Smith and her teammates begin their season on Feb. 14 against Georgia Southern University in Orlando, Florida.