Softball player Hart named MLive Muskegon Athlete of the Week for May 31-June 4

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Hart standout Skyler Smith tags a Ludington player to home plate during a 2022 contest. (Photo courtesy of Rich Copenhagen)

MUSKEGON — The Hart softball team will compete for a regional championship this weekend after a pair of impressive performances against Mason County Central and Manistee in the Division 3 District Tournament last Saturday.

One of the key players for the Pirates this spring has been Skyler Smith, who helped propel his team’s offensive output into the playoffs. Never was that more evident than in last week’s district tournament when the talented slugger recorded 14 RBIs in three games.

In the district’s opener against Hesperia on May 31, Smith recorded four hits and five RBIs in a narrow 11–10 win over the Panthers. Smith added four hits and five RBIs in a 15-8 win over Mason County Central in the District Semifinals and added three hits and four RBIs in a 15-4 win over Manistee in the District Championship Game. district.

Smith has an impressive .564 batting average and .670 on-base percentage this spring to go along with his career batting average of .498.

“Skylar played travel ball for six years with top prospects and the extra 60 games each summer really helped her develop both on offense and defense,” Hart’s head coach said, Rocky Smith. “Skylar doesn’t kick. She doesn’t chase balls out of the area, making it difficult for pitchers.

“She’s also a leader on defense, whether she’s at shortstop, first base or receiver. As a catcher, she really limits teams’ ability to steal bases and is a wall behind the plate. The most impressive thing about her is how she’s really gotten stronger over the past two weeks. In the last eight games, she’s 21 for 30 from the plate and has come out on top in big situations.

Readers of MLive and the Muskegon Chronicle were impressed with Smith’s impact and power from the plate, as they scored this week’s poll in favor of the softball star for the Pirates and made him the undisputed top pick for MLive Muskegon Athlete of the Week for May 31-June 4.

Smith took top honors in this week’s poll with more than 12,000 votes, while she got more than 18,000 votes overall. Ludington’s Lilli Goodrich finished second with nearly 6,500 votes, while Muskegon Catholic Central’s Dewey Modaff, Hart’s Kellen Kimes and Ludington’s RyAnn Rohrer rounded out the Top 5 voters in this week’s poll.

REMARK: Coaches are encouraged to send any nominations for next week’s survey to [email protected] before Sunday at 10 p.m.

Find all the candidates of this week by clicking here.

Below are the full results of this week’s fan voting.

** If you’re having trouble accessing the survey below, try using this link: https://poll.fm/11132944**

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