Hard work pays off.
It is a maxim used by coaches to describe student-athletes who, over four years, mature and break out of their shell in a particular sport.
Rosewood’s Alyssa Smothers is a perfect example.
Four years ago, the Rosewood senior was not on college coaches’ recruiting radar.
However, during her time playing softball, Smothers learned the significance and urgency necessary to create a consistent work ethic and succeed at the high school level.
And now Smothers is ready for the next level.
Smothers signed a national letter of intent to play softball at the University of Mount Olive.
“This is so great. I’m so happy that I’m finally going to go somewhere,” Smothers said. “I really like the Mount Olive community, and it’s a small community like Rosewood, so not much of a change.”
Smothers was drawn to UMO because of its proximity to home, but there was another factor too.
She attended a few softball camps at UMO and developed a relationship with UMO head coach Mandy Sansbury. Sansbury recognized Smothers’ talent and eventually offered a spot on the softball team.
“I just really like the way she coaches,” Smothers said. “At the second camp I went to, I knew this was the school for me. I like the girls here, and they are very sweet.”
Smothers never imagined she would see this day, and on the softball diamond, she never wavers. She pushes herself during practice and is always figuring out ways to get better.
Her career numbers thus far are impressive — batting average (.339), on-base percentage (.455), RBIs (31) and hits (43).
Smothers, who wants to become a pharmacist after college, missed out on her junior season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but she is ready to get on the field this season and play with her teammates again.
“It’s great because all of the girls had classes together, so we bonded really well,” Smothers said.
And while there might be an adjustment period to life without her Rosewood teammates, it will not take long for Smothers to succeed at the college level.