Penn-Trafford’s Mia Smith takes 2022 Tribune-Review Westmoreland Softball Player of the Year honors
Saturday, June 25, 2022 | 11:27 PM
The evolution of Mia Smith’s high school softball career began in 2019 when she was a freshman.
A closer two seasons ago when Penn-Trafford won a PIAA championship, Smith took over the lead role in the circle this season and shined.
She led the Warriors (20-4) to a runner-up finish in the WPIAL and the PIAA semifinals in Class 5A.
For her efforts, Smith is the Tribune-Review Westmoreland Softball Player of the Year.
Ligonier Valley senior pitcher Maddie Griffin, Yough senior pitcher Emma Augustine and Mt. Pleasant senior shortstop Katie Hutter also were considered.
“She was my answer,” Warriors coach Denny Little said. “I wanted to get her confident and get her involved (in 2019). I knew she was something special.”
In ’19, Smith formed a one-two punch with another former standout, Morgan Hilty, who has gone on to become a first-team All-PSAC pitcher at Mercyhurst.
The pair helped lead Penn-Trafford to the school’s first PIAA championship.
“She missed her sophomore year (covid), but she knew she was going to be our top pitcher,” Little said. “She realized she is going to give up some big hits, but she can shake it off. She has been so poised all year.”
Talk about Harrison City Heat — the youth summer program started by Little — Smith is one of the fastest-throwing pitchers the program has seen. She often pops Maddy Rapp’s glove at 60-plus mph.
“It’s all part of the plan,” Little said. “We knew she’d be a difference-maker.”
Smith finished 20-4 this season with a 1.38 ERA, 203 strikeouts and 45 walks in 132 innings.
All of her losses were by one run.
For her career, the Pitt-Johnstown recruit was 42-8 with a 1.97 ERA, 400 strikeouts, and 92 walks in 2741⁄3 innings.
“I was incredibly blessed to have played as a freshman and win states all in the same year, but with that being said, I kept working harder in the weight room, field, cages and even the classroom to the best of my ability,” Smith said.
“And to be honest, I don’t think I’m even there yet. The best is yet to come for me and college, and I know that I’m going to work 200% to out-pitch my competition in the PSAC.”
Smith said her legacy lies in her being a complete teammate, not just a standout player.
“I want to be remembered as the teammate who could pick anyone up when they were down, the person she could go to for advice or even the teammate that could make anyone laugh.
“Yes, I have made an impact on Penn-Trafford Warrior softball, but I hope that I have made a bigger impact on the girls that look up to me as a player, teammate or even friend.”
Sr., P, Yough
Went 13-3 with 1.83 ERA and 155 strikeouts and hit five home runs and drove in 19 runs for Class 4A quarterfinalist.
Fr., OF, Franklin Regional
Budding hitter had .414 average with seven homers, 30 RBIs and 25 runs scored for Class 5A playoff team.
Sr., P, Ligonier Valley
Stunted by late-season hand injury, Youngstown State commit went 8-2 with 0.23 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 62.1 innings and also hit .471 with 23 runs.
Jr., P, Greensburg Central Catholic
Led GCC to WPIAL semifinals and PIAA playoffs in Class A with seven wins and 3.16 ERA while batting .548 with 10 doubles, four triples, 26 RBIs and 22 runs.
Sr., SS, Mt. Pleasant
Division I prospect hit .597 with 43 hits, 11 doubles, six triples, six home runs, 22 RBIs and 41 runs scored. Also stole 13 bases.
So., SS, Southmoreland
Helped Scotties reach WPIAL 3A semifinals and PIAA postseason with a .339 average, four home runs, 16 RBIs and 18 runs scored. Had 1.214 OPS and .607 slugging percentage.
Jr., OF, Belle Vernon
Leopards’ offensive leader hit .557 with 14 doubles, five homers, 25 runs and 32 RBIs, while also slugging .824 and striking out three times in 70 at-bats.
Fr., P, Hempfield
Despite foot injury in playoffs, ninth-grader finished with an 11-3 record, 126 strikeouts and 24 walks and had a 2.91 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.
So., SS, Norwin
Had breakthrough season for the Knights, a 6A playoff team, on offense and defense as she hit .448 with 26 hits, 18 runs scored and 12 stolen bases.
Sr., 3B, Latrobe
Pitt-Johnstown commit led 5A playoff quarterfinalist with .568 average, 25 hits, nine doubles, three homers, 17 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
Fr., OF, Franklin Regional
Jr., C, Derry
Fr., 3B, Derry
So., OF, Hempfield
Sr., 3B, Southmoreland
Jr., 1B, Franklin Regional
Sr., P, Norwin
So., P, Ligonier Valley
Fr., 3B, Penn-Trafford
Jr., OF, Yough
Jr., OF, Mt. Pleasant
So., P, Latrobe
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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