By Nolan Ruth
The Community News
Like I always say when a Bearcat/Ladycat makes their commitment to play in college, it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. On Aug. 16, softball pitcher Kayleigh Smith made her official commitment to the University of North Texas. UNT is one of the best softball programs in the NCAA, and Conference-USA particularly.
“They have a great program,” Smith said about the decision. “They are really good at softball, they are a big school and they are everything I am looking for. It’s my dream school.”
Smith announced on social media that she will become the second Aledo pitcher to play for the Mean Green, after star pitcher Lauren Craine in 2015.
“Lauren was a big role model to me when I was growing up. I would always go to the games and watch her pitch and I think it is cool that we get to go to the same college too.”
Smith led the Ladycats all the way to the state final in 2021, but her work isn’t done as she still plans to finish what she started in 2022, before she takes the next step.
“I am looking forward to going back to state and finishing what we started first. Last year did not end the way we wanted it to, but this year I think that we can win it all.”
Even though this is her accomplishment, Smith admitted that she could have done it all by herself, and thanked a number of people for her success.
“I want to thank my parents especially for even giving me the opportunity to even go to college. I couldn’t do it without them taking me to travel tournaments and paying for softball. I want to thank all my Aledo coaches for giving me the opportunity to play for them, and always believing in me. Thanks to the UNT coaches for giving me such a great opportunity. Thanks to the Texas Glory organization for giving me the chance to play at a high level and get seen by the college coaches. And of course my brother Austin for being my biggest supporter and inspiring me with his baseball play.”
The softball season is still six months away, but for now the Aledo community can celebrate another Division 1 athlete in the star pitcher, Kayleigh Smith.