College Report: Smith Leaves Legacy Of Speed, Versatility At UIS

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At the plate, she was dependable. In the field, she was versatile and on the base paths, she was one of the fastest ever at University of Illinois-Springfield.

Nokomis graduate Mandy Smith, who suited up for University of Illinois-Springfield during the last four years, led the team in stolen bases two of those years. She was second in stolen bases one other year. At the plate, she never had a batting average lower than .245 and batted as high as .312. In the field, she played second base, right field and centerfield.

"I am a big fan of right field," said the former Redskin player. "Everyone thinks that right is a boring spot, but in college it is not. I played quite a bit of infield during high school, so I was very used to that position. Center was a ton of running and backing up the middle infield."

But, she was good at all three spots and probably because of her bat and her ability to steal bases, was a constant starter in the lineup. From her freshman year, she started every game.

"I had the great fortune to never be injured and to be good enough to play," said Smith. "It was a good four years for me. They were like a family and we had great times. I have some great memories."

Smith finished her career with a .286 batting average. In 640 trips to the plate, she had 183 hits (16 doubles, three triples). She also had 105 runs scored,  71 stolen bases, 52 RBIs and 49 walks. For her career, she made 239 putouts, 112 assisted putouts and 19 errors for a fielding percentage of .949.

As a senior, the Fillmore native hit .245 finishing with 35 hits (four doubles, two triples), 22 runs scored, 16 RBIs, 12 walks and three stolen bases. She committed only two errors, while making 62 putouts and seven assisted putouts for a .972 fielding percentage.

"I was disappointed with my batting average as a senior," said Smith. "I wanted to play much better. The teams in the Great Lakes Valley Conference continue to improve. I think they had me scouted very well this year. I hit the ball hard, but it just did not go through."

Smith, who hit .312 as a sophomore, was named to the GLVC-West Division Second Team as a sophomore. The infielder/outfielder helped UIS post a 32-22 mark. They were 22-12 in the league, won the GLVC-West and finished second overall in the tournament. They advanced to the NCAA Division II Regionals.

As a sophomore, she had 58 hits (five doubles, one triple). She stole 29 bases that year. She also had 28 runs scored, 14 RBIs and 12 walks. She was one of four Prairie Star softball players to hit over .300 and one of three to start every game. She was second on the team in stolen bases.

She also earned NCAA Division II All-Region status from Daktronics as a sophomore. As a senior, the 201-game starter earned the UIS Coaches Award. She also earned a senior award.

The daughter of Krista and Brent Smith of Fillmore earned a degree in visual arts in July. She also earned a minor in communications. She graduated with a 3.2 grade point average.

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