MC's Smith earns USA South Rookie Pitcher of the Week with 11 strikeouts

MC's Smith earns USA South Rookie Pitcher of the Week with 11 strikeouts

Maryville College's Katlyn Smith earns USA South Rookie Pitcher of the Week honors, as the freshman standout recorded a 2-0 record on the week.

Smith was one of a trio of awards, as MC took three of the four USA South weekly softball awards. Nicole Blackburn earned USA South Pitcher of the Week, as Taylor Campbell was named USA South Rookie of the Week for her work at the plate.

Smith – a Loganville, Ga. native – boasted a 0.00 ERA on the week. She didn't allow a single run in 12 innings of work.

"I'm excited to see her numbers and what she's doing as a freshman," Head Coach Leah Kelley said. "She's come in here and has gotten a lot of innings for is. We have a big staff, but as a freshman, she's come in and gotten a lot of innings. She's done very well, and she's been very composed on the mound. That's something you rarely see as a freshman. You know, she's playing in big games, and her composer is always there."

Smith helped the Scots to the perfect mark, as they outscored opponents 64-0 on the week. In USA South play, MC has posted a 92-2 score while rolling off 90 unanswered runs in their last eight games behind a strong pitching effort.

Smith was a key part to that success, as she hasn't allowed an earned run in her last 17 innings or work. She's fanned 14 batters in that span, while holding opponents to a .182 batting average.

"I didn't know that stat, but that is pretty outstanding," Kelley said. "To just be a freshman – her and Taylor [Campbell] still have a lot of growing up to do – but hearing those numbers it is really exciting for them and exciting for the program."

In an 6-0 win over LaGrange College, Smith pitched a complete seven-inning shutout. She allowed just five hits while striking out seven batters. She didn't allow a single walk in 26 batters faced.

In her second game of the week, Smith pitched a five-inning blank of Covenant College. She gave up only three hits, while striking out four batters. She walked two in 22 batters faced, as 95 of her 152 pitchers went down as strikes.

On the year, Smith has compiled a 6-1 record in 44.2 innings of work. She's allowed just 17 earned runs while leading the Scots with 41 strikeouts. Her 2.66 ERA ranks second on the squad behind Blackburn's, as she has pitched four complete games this year. Smith has given up only 39 hits in 10 appearances.

"[Blackburn and Smith], they are two different pitchers," Kelley said. "They are two different styles of pitchers. We needed someone to come in this year and give our conference a new arm to face. Katlyn has been that for us. They complement each other well with having different styles. Nicole is going to come right at batters – hit her corners and her spots to throw batters off balance. Then, you have Katlyn who is more of a strikeout pitcher. Their combination right now is really working, and our hitting has backed them up as well.

Maryville College steps out of USA South Athletic Conference play this week, as they travel to Claremont, Fla. for spring break. The Scots will play six games between March 21-23 on the spring break trip.