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June 25, 2017 : Conference “Most Valuable Player” awarded to OUL student

by Meghan Morris

Mackenzie SmithMackenzie Smith, a sophomore studying English at Ohio University Lancaster, was awarded the 2017 Ohio Regional Campus Athletic Conference (ORCC) Most Valuable Player award in softball for more than her batting average.

 

Smith has played competitive softball since she was six years old. Now 23, she said no other softball award has meant as much.

 

“I was shocked because I didn’t expect that at all,” she said. “There are plenty of good players in this league and on our team.”

 

Smith said she hit well during games but not enough to stand out. Part of her consideration for the MVP award could be her mindset.

 

“Everybody feels differently during games,” Smith said. “I stay positive throughout games. When I’m playing, I’m serious but to an extent I have to be light hearted.”

 

She calls participation in OUL softball “relaxed” in comparison with her high school involvement. They had three separate teams registered during one season.

 

Smith usually pitches, and she likes the strategic thought process behind that position.

 

“I like to determine where I need to throw a pitch and what kind to throw depending on the batter,” she said.

 

The OUL team has two other pitchers which allows them to spread out the responsibility during games.

 

Smith said she likes the girls on her team and the sport has helped her develop unbreakable bonds over the almost two decades she has played.

 

“One of my best friends has played softball with me since we were 10 years old,” she said. “If I hadn’t played that summer, I wouldn’t have met her and my life would be completely different.”

 

Spring semester was hectic for Smith since she works full-time, attends classes, coaches high school softball, plays softball and makes social plans.

 

“It was a busy semester for me,” she said. “It was nice to have the MVP award on top of that.”

 

Ohio University Lancaster supports several athletic teams including men's and women's basketball, women's volleyball, men's baseball, men's and women's tennis, golf, and women's softball. The Ohio Regional Campus Conference was founded in 1973 and is an independent sports organization that serves the State of Ohio's regional campuses and has nine member colleges.