The Brown and White spoke with three softball alumni — Mary Hannah Smith, ‘20, Christine Campbell, ‘17, and Nicole Yozzo, ‘18, — to reflect on their years at Lehigh and catch up on what they’ve been doing since graduation.
Q: What are you doing currently?
Mary-Hannah Smith, former infielder: After graduating from Lehigh this past spring, I started my job at Air Products in July and have been working from home ever since. I am in the Supply Chain CDP Program, which means it’s a two-year and rotational program. Right now, in my first year, I am in the fleet operations and maintenance group so I work with trucks and the fleet. A couple of things that I manage are the tractor replacement program and the driver coach app.
Christine Campbell, former pitcher: After spending two years as a graduate assistant coach while getting my MBA at Robert Morris (University) , coach (Fran) Troyan reached out and asked if I would like to return to Lehigh to be a full-time assistant coach. When he offered me that position here I knew I loved the culture of the Lehigh softball program and the coaching staff, so I accepted. Now I am still coaching here and I absolutely love it.
Nicole Yozzo, former outfielder: I teach at the Windward School. The Windward School is a school for kids with language-based learning disabilities. Last year, I taught seventh grade English and sixth grade math and this year, I teach ninth grade English and eighth grade social studies.
Q: What skills did you take away from your time playing for Lehigh?
MHS: I would say grit. There are days when things go very smoothly and you feel like you can conquer the world. Other days, you feel like you’re not doing a great job and nothing is going your way. Having the grit to keep on going and knowing that one bad day doesn’t define you is definitely something I learned in softball. Being able to recognize that a bad day is not the end of the world has allowed me to continue to put my best foot forward in the working world.
CC: I think the biggest thing I got out of Lehigh was the leadership. When I was a player, I felt coach Troyan did a great job having the players, of any age, take on leadership roles. Whether it’s leading themselves or leading the team, he really does take a step back and allow for that growth.
NY: One of the big things that coach Troyan always discussed was being flexible. So whether it be a rain delay or anything else in terms of prolonged games or a rift in our schedule, he stressed being able to come back from it and perform our best. I would say that message of remaining flexible is especially applicable to this year.
Q: What is a favorite memory of yours from Lehigh softball?
MHS: My favorite memory at Lehigh was winning the Patriot League Championship my freshman year. We battled back out of the losers bracket and ended up beating Boston (University) twice that day to win the championship.
CC: My favorite moment would have to be my sophomore year when we won the (Patriot League) Championship. When you win the championship, you get to go to the NCAA tournament so we went to Oklahoma for it. Although there is a professional league now, growing up there wasn’t one to watch so we always focused so much on watching the NCAA tournament. Having the opportunity to go and play in it with cameras and everything was great. That moment of feeling we had made it was like what you dream about as a kid.
NY: One of my favorite memories was my junior year when we had to beat Boston (University) twice in order to win the (Patriot League) Championship. Our pitcher Christine Campbell was lights out and so courageous in terms of the way she played that day. Watching Christine throw that final pitch to strike the girl out and being able to celebrate with the whole team after everyone had worked so hard was awesome.
Q: What is a word of advice you would give to the current team?
MHS: I would say not to take a day for granted. Although it may sound cliche, it is so true. If I could go back, I would really cherish those years a little more and really embrace both the highs and lows of it all. When it’s all over and done, you’re going to miss both those good and bad days.
CC: I think that my coaching style now embodies my hope to empower the players to be their own leaders. I would tell them that in whatever they choose to pursue professionally, they should not fear taking charge and applying the strong leadership skills they have developed.
NY: I’m sure this year’s group knows better than anyone else that you can’t take any of your time there for granted. I so cherish every single time I got to step on the field and would give anything to be able to play again.