Senior infielder becomes second Gamecock under Beverly Smith to earn all-conference honors
The 10th-seeded Gamecocks play on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. EDT on ESPNU against the tourney host
Senior catcher Shelby Gonzales goes 2-for-3 with homer, 3 RBI
West Columbia to Host Tuesday's Contest Versus Presbyterian
Game times set for 7, 4 and 1 PM at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field
Shots from the Gamecocks' 6-3 win over No. 18/15 Kentucky in the first round of the 2013 SEC Softball Tournament
Shots from the Saturday softball contest between the Georgia Bulldogs and the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Shots from the final game of the first series at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
February 9th, 2013
Photos from the Senior Day ceremony and the final game at the current setup of Beckham Field.
On July 20, 2010, Beverly Smith became the 10th head softball coach in the history of the University of South Carolina. The former ACC Player of the Year and pitching coach who guided All-Americans at North Carolina oversees all aspects of the program and works closely with the pitchers and catchers.
In her two year at South Carolina, Smith has posted a 49-62 overall record while trying to rebuild a program in the Southeastern Conference, one of the top leagues in NCAA Division I. The team has set five new team single-season offensive records in her two seasons, including new highs in home runs, slugging percentage and hit-by-pitches in 2012. Lauren Lackey became the first Gamecock in history to earn Easton All-America honors, making the second team, while she also became the first player from South Carolina to gain first-team All-SEC accolades in a decade. Lackey was joined by Chelsea Hawkins on the NFCA All-Southeast Region second team.
Smith sparked a 15-win improvement in her first year with the team, improving in nearly every statistical category. The offense posted 130 more hits and scored 89 more runs while raising the team batting average 51 points. The squad combined for 25 home runs, the most in six years while striking out 76 less times in over 250 at bats. The team utilized its speed as well, attempting more stolen base tries than any Gamecock team in recorded history. The 79 swipes tied for second most by a South Carolina team. Smith's pitchers also leaped forward, lowering the team ERA by over 1.50 runs, more than tripling the shutouts thrown while giving up 53 less hits in 60 more innings of work.
Prior to coming to South Carolina, Smith served as the top assistant at North Carolina. The final three years, she was the associate head coach after nine as an assistant. Smith helped the Tar Heels to two Atlantic Coast Conference titles in 2001 and 2008 and eight of their nine NCAA Tournament appearances. She served as the lead recruiter for the Tar Heels during that time, helping to bring in five All-Americans into the UNC program. She also helped North Carolina achieve a top-25 ranking in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Coaches Poll at least once per season from 2006-10.
Her responsibilities on the field included coaching the battery. She coached a pitching staff that ranked in the top 10 in the nation in ERA in three of her final four seasons at North Carolina. The 2010 squad finished 16th in NCAA Division I with a 1.92 ERA.
Her top pupil was three-time All-American and two-time ACC Player of the Year Danielle Spaulding. During her final three seasons, Spaulding finished in the nation's top six in strikeouts per seven innings. In 2010, Spaulding was the toughest pitcher in the country to hit against, as she yielded just 2.61 hits per seven innings. In 2009, Spaulding led the country with 14.3 strikeouts per seven innings.
Smith also guided Crystal Cox to All-America honors, making the third team in 2006 after claiming ACC Rookie of the Year honors in 2003. Amber Johnson also garnered second-team All-ACC accolades during her time under Smith. In total, five of her pitchers claimed 10 all-league honors.
Her pitchers have also gone onto success as professional athletes and in coaching. Lisa Norris, a former All-ACC pitcher for Smith, took the 2010 NPF Diamond Sports Pitcher of the Year award for the pro league. Both Spaulding (Texas A&M) and Norris (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) hold pitching coach jobs with NCAA Division I teams. Smith's catchers also stood out in the ACC, with three claiming all-conference honors. Ally Blake and Brittany McKinney claimed spots in 2010 and 2009, respectively, while Natalie Anter made the list four times from 1999-2002. Anter also played in the 2004 Athens Olympics with the Italian national team.
Born in Asheboro, N.C., and raised in Houston, Texas, Smith spent two years at the University of Houston, starting in the academic office before working as the athletics department's marketing coordinator. She played and served as an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay FireStix of the Women's Pro Softball League in 1997. During this time, she also coached Episcopal High School in Bellaire, Texas, to three state titles and a state runner-up spot (1995-98).
A standout player for head coach Donna Papa before joining her staff, Smith was the 1994 ACC Player of the Year. A dual threat, Smith still ranks ninth in Tar Heel history in slugging percentage, second in triples, third in RBI, fifth in shutouts and seventh in ERA. Smith was honored as one of the top 50 softball players in ACC history during the league's 50th-anniversary celebration in 2002.
In addition to her coaching, Smith has been a speaker/clinician at many camps and conventions. She graduated from North Carolina in 1994 with a double major in speech communications and political science.
Smith's Employment Timeline
Smith's Playing Timeline
Smith's Education Timeline