Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Penn-Trafford's Tyler Smith, Latrobe's Meredith Carr
Claim to fame: Smith, who went 5-1 with a 0.83 earned-run average last season before suffering an arm injury late in the regular season, allowed no runs on no hits while striking out eight and walking one in four innings in a 9-3 win over Woodland Hills on Saturday. At the plate, Smith, a Canisius recruit, went 2 for 3 with a triple and two RBIs.
“It felt great to get the first win under the belt,” Smith said. “All the guys who threw did well and the hitting is starting off amazing. We are starting off great at the beginning of the year offensively and defensively.”
What appealed to you about Canisius?
I'm going to major in finance. I may do a minor in communications. It's a perfect opportunity because it's a top business school in New York. I will be able to pitch and play third base. It's a Division I school on the rise that has had 11 guys get drafted in the last seven years. I want to be a financial advisor. My dad has been one for 20-plus years.
What did you work on in the offseason?
I worked a lot on my hitting since I had a poor hitting season last year. I didn't follow through with my goals with only batting around .300. It wasn't a great taste in my mouth as I ended the season wanting more. I was trying to pull everything last year.
Last year, you suffered an arm injury. What did you learn through that experience?
I kind of learned about proper arm care. Up to that point, if I kept my arm in shape I would be able to bounce back. However, after it not bouncing and it being inflamed all summer, it brought me down and taught me that I'm not indestructible. I needed to do the proper maintenance to keep myself in tiptop shape.
What were your goals going into the season?
I just wrote down my goals last week. I really want to hit around .450. During my sophomore year, I was hitting at .444. I really enjoyed that and to go out there last year and performing 150 points below that was awful. For pitching, I want to have a sub 1.00 ERA in and out of section play. I want to win pitcher of the year, and league MVP would be amazing. I set big goals for myself.
When you graduate, how do you want to be remembered?
I haven't thought about it. I want to be remembered as someone who batters feared and coaches could rely on and trust me to get the team out of jams.
How is your bracket looking?
I have Louisville winning one and Wichita State winning the other two so those brackets are kind of shattered.
Sport: Softball/field hockey
Claim to fame: Carr, who also plays for the YMCA Spirit Synergy-Beistel 14U travel softball team, went 6 1⁄3 innings allowing no runs while striking out four and walking two to lead Latrobe (1-0) to a 4-0 nonsection win over Belle Vernon on Saturday. At the plate, Carr recorded a double.
“I'm really excited to play with all the girls now that I can play with them. I have been watching them for the past couple of years,” Carr said. “I'm really excited that now that I can participate and play with all of them. They are so welcoming and such a great group of girls.”
What did you learn from watching in prior years?
You have to be tough out there. You can't let little things get to you. They all have your back and no matter what happens they will still love you. They have your back if you make a mistake.
As a freshman, do you feel any sort of intimidation facing older players?
I definitely feel intimidated. But, being on the mound, (it's nice to have) Shelby (Noel) and Jenna (Adams) at first and third and being there to talk me out of tough situations and help me feel better.
When do you think you are at your best on the mound?
I like to be in tough pressure situations. I love bases loaded, two outs. I love those high-pressure situations because it makes me buckle down and do well.
Which sport do you like more, softball or field hockey?
I like softball because I have been playing for so long and it has become a part of my life. Field hockey is still fun because it's not as much pressure so you feel like you don't have to do your best every single game. You know that you're always going have a chance to play. In softball, you have to make sure you are doing well or someone is going to take your spot.
— Andrew John