Michele Smith
Pitcher
1996, 2000


Michele Smith Softball Olympian Team USA 1996, 2000Michele Mary Smith (born June 21, 1967 in Califon, New Jersey) went to Oklahoma State University. Michele Smith is a double Olympic Softball Gold Medalist with the U.S. National Team, having played in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics. In 2006, she was inducted into the ASA Softball Hall of Fame. She has also played professionally in the Japanese Professional Softball League.

Smith attended Voorhees High School in Glen Gardner, New Jersey, where she set school records for wins, strikeouts and no hitters. On July 21, 1986,

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Michelle Smith interviewed on The Fastpitch TV Show
Produced By Gary Leland


Michele Answers My 10 Questions:

Q. How old were you when you started playing softball?

A. I started playing softball when I was 6 years old, but was a shortstop and outfielder. I didn’t start to pitch until 15 and my first season pitching was my sophomore year in High School, just prior to my 16th birthday. With a late start, I worked hard to make up for some lost time. πŸ™‚

Q. Was there anyone special in your life that helped you become a great player?

A. My parents for sure. They were very supportive -still are, of my career and passions. I believe they did all they could to help me reach my full potential.

Q. How do you get ready for a game?

A. I am very routine oriented, so I did things the same no matter if practice, a game -a championship…I believe you need to need to feel comfortable to really be able to reach that zone that athletes talk about. If you are too much in the present and aware of how uncomfortable you are, you never get to that level of unconscience competence that the best athletes in the world play at.

Q. What do you like to do when you are not involved with softball?

A. I am passionate about training so I cycle, and I do tri’s. I don’t like to swim, but have to in order to compete in tri’s…running has become something that I have started to enjoy again. For complete relaxation I enjoy boating and fishing.

Q. What factors do you feel have influenced you the most to become the player and you are today?

A. Playing professional ball in Japan for 16 years really helped my game and made me a better player on and off the field. Also, playing for Team USA. When you are surrounded by so many great athletes, it takes to you to the next level. You are challenged every single day you step on the field.

Q. Do you have any routines are superstitions that you implement regularly?

A. I always jumped over the foul lines on the field. I started doing this as a reminder or physical que to tell myself it was time to go to work. I was jumping into my ‘arena’ and it was where I was to focus and compete at a level of intensity every time the ball was given to me.

Q. What is your favorite softball memory?

A. Winning two Olympic Gold Medals were for sure the high light of my career…but of course wearing that USA uniform was an honor no matter what the event. Winning 8 Japan League Championships and 8 MVP’s also ranks up there pretty high as well!

Q. How much value do you place on mental training? Do you have any advice for others in this area?

A. Mental training is the difference between good and great. You will never find an elite athlete that is unaware of their mental abilities…that is not saying all elite athletes are mentally strong…but aware of how much it adds or how much it detracts from their outcomes. I would advise to be aware of when you are playing well, how do you feel, how are you thinking, what are you thinking about, what are you eating, what is going on in your life…try to replicate these things over and over….also, when things aren’t going well, have a baseline to try to get back to in order to get your game and mind back on track.

Q. If you could do anything else in the world as a profession, what would it be and why?

A. A Doctor. I was going to go to Medical School but never got off the softball field! πŸ™‚

Q. What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome in your playing and/or coaching career?

A. Overcoming the accident I had after my freshman year in college….which once I overcame those setbacks…it ended up making me a better player…and person.


Voorhees High School:

1981-85 All State in Softball (46-6)
1982-85 All Conference, basketball
1982-85 All Conference, field hockey

Oklahoma State University:

1986,88,89 All Big 8 Conference Honors
1988,89 Big 8 Conference All Tournament Selection
1988,89 NCAA All American, All Academic Big 8 Conference, All Region, Honda Award runner-up, Dean’s List
1989 State of Oklahoma College Athlete of the Year named by USA Today

1986 Pitching – Single Season Records:

#24 All Time Earned Run Average (1.28 – 131.1 innings pitched)
Tied for #15 All Time Shutouts – 8
Named All Time Cowgirl

1987 Pitching – Single Season Records:

#16 All Time Earned Run Average (.83 – 161.0 innings pitched)
#12 All Time Win-Loss Percentage .783 (18-5)
Tied for #17 All Time Victories – 18
Named All Time Cowgirl

1988 Hitting – single season records:

#7 All Time Batting Average – .393 (57-145)
#3 All Time Slugging Percentage – .669 (97-145)
#9 All Time On-Base Percentage – .457
#20 All Time Hits – 57
#7 All Time Home Runs – 9
#6 All Time Runs Batted In – 43
#10 All Time Total Bases – 97

Pitching – single season records:

#10 All Time Earned Run Average (.58 – 218.2 innings pitched)
#11 All Time Win-Loss Percentage – .813 (26 – 6)
Tied for #3 All Time Victories – 26
Tied for #12 All Time Appearances – 36
Tied for #9 All Time Starts – 30
Tied for #6 All Time Complete Games – 26
#4 All Time Complete Games – 16
#10 All Time Innings Pitched – 218.2
#9 All Time Strikeouts – 218
Pitched 4 No-Hitters
Named All Time Cowgirl

1989 Hitting – single season records:

#13 All Time Batting Average – .379 (55-145)
#11 All Time Slugging Percentage – .586 (85-145)
Tied for #23 All Time Hits – 55
Tied for #16 All Time Runs Batted In – 33
Tied for #5 All Time Triples – 6
#18 All Time Total Bases – 85
Individual Single-Game Record for Runs – 4
Individual Single-Game Record for Runs Batted In – 5

Pitching – single season records:

#8 All Time Earned Run Average (.53 – 196.1 innings pitched)
#13 All Time Fewest Walks/7 innings – 1.43 (196.1 innings pitched)
#6 All Time Most Strikeouts/7 Innings – 8.56 (196.1 innings pitched)
#3 All Time Win-Loss Percentage – .897 (26-3)
#15 All Time Innings Pitched – 186.1
Tied for #3 All Time Victories – 26
#3 All Time Shutouts – 17
Tied for #15 All Time Starts – 27
Tied for #9 All Time Complete Games – 25
Pitched 4 No-Hitters of which 2 were perfect games
Named All Time Cowgirl

Hitting – Career Records:

#6 All Time Career Batting Average – .343 (148-432)
#5 All Time Career Slugging Percentage – .539 (233-432)
#10 All Time Career On-Base Percentage – .412
Tied for #14 All Time Career Hits – 148
Tied for #19 All Time Career Doubles – 20
Tied for #2 All Time Career Triples – 10
#8 All Time Career Home Runs – 15
Tied for #16 Career Runs Scored – 75
#7 All Time Career Runs Batted In – 87
#9 All Time Career Total Bases – 233
#17 All Time Career Bases on Balls – 46
#23 All Time Career Games Played – 171

Pitching – Career Records:

#6 All Time Career Earned Run Avenue – .75 (707.1 innings pitched)
#3 All Time Career Win-Loss Percentage – .804 (82-20)
#1 All Time Career Victories – 82
Tied for #3 All Time Career Appearances – 108
#3 All Time Career Starts – 97
#3 All Time Career Complete Games – 75
#2 All Time Career Shutouts – 46
#3 All Time Career Innings Pitched – 707.1
#4 All Time Career Strikeouts – 600
#9 All Time Career Strikeouts/7 innings – 5.94 (707.1 innings)
#9 All Time Career Fewest Walks/7 innings – 1.78 (707.1 innings)

USA Softball/American Softball Association:

1989
3rd Team All American Pitcher, Bronze Medal

1990
Canada Cup MVP
ASA First Team All American, winner Bertha Tickey Award for Outstanding Pitcher
Bronze Medal at U.S. Olympic Festival
Michele had a 3-1 record with a 1.45 ERA, and hitting .455, including a final-inning grand slam in the bronze medal game.

1991
Bronze Medal at U.S. Olympic Festival

1990,93,94
USOC Softball Sports Person of the Year

1991 – 2002
Member of Team USA Softball

1992
Gold Medal at World Championships, Beijing, Japan
Participant in the Tri-National Challenge in Japan

1993
National Champions, All American Pitcher, MVP of tournament and Winner of Bertha Tickey Award
Gold Medal at Intercontinental Cup in Haarlum, Holland

1994
National Champions, All American Pitcher, Bertha Tickey Award
Bronze medal at U.S. Olympic Festival, St Louis, MO
Gold Medal at World Championships, St.Johns, New Foundland, Canada
Michele went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 17 innings.
Gold Medal with Team USA at South Pacific Classic in Sydney, Australia

1995
Gold Medal with Team USA at Pan American Games in Parana, Argentina
Helped the USA win the gold medal at the Pan American Games. She went 3-0 including a 4-0 shutout over Puerto Rico in the title game, with a .36 ERA. She also hit .429 (12 for 28) with three inside-the-park home runs, a triple and two doubles. Smith finished with a team-high 14 RBI and 5 runs scored.
Gold Medal with Team USA at Superball Classic, Pre-Olympic qualifier
National Champions, All American Pitcher, MVP, Bertha Tickey Award
Bronze medal with West team at the US Olympic Festival in Denver, CO

1996
Pre-Olympic Tour
Michele went 12-0 on the pre-Olympic tour with a 12 – 0 record and 0.00 ERA. She hit .326, with five doubles, two home runs, one triple and 24 RBIs.
Gold Medalist of 1996 Olympic Softball Team, Atlanta, Georgia
Michele went 2-0 with 1.50 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 14 innings. At the plate, she hit .211 (4 for 19, with a double) with two RBIs and 3 runs scored.
National Championships, First Team All American
Number 2 pick – Women’s Professional Fastpitch League

1997
Named to National All-American Team ASA Softball
Lead the West squad to the bronze medal at the USA Softball National Team Festival in Midland, MI. Posed a 2-1 record with .31 ERA and 22 strikeouts. She also hit .231 with one home run and four RBIs.
Silver Medal at Superball, Columbus, GA
Posted a 1-1 record with a .50 ERA and 22 strikeouts. At the plate she hit .400 (4 for 10) with one home run.
American Challenge Series vs Olympic silver medalist China and bronze medalist Australia. US was 10-0 in the series and Michele went 2-0 with .41 ERA and 25 strikeouts. She also hit a team-high .423.

1998
Gold Medal at South Pacific Classic, Christchurch, New Zealand
Posted a 1-1 record with a 1.87 ERA and 25 strikeouts. Smith hit .267 (4 for 15) and scored one run.
Gold Medal at World Championships, Fuji, Japan
She went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 36 strikeouts. She hit .444(8 for 18) with three home runs, 8 RBIs and 4 runs scored.

1999
Gold Medal at Canada Cup
She went 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA, striking out 26 batters and walking just three in 15 innings. She also recorded three hits and three runs scored.
Gold Medal Pan American Games, Winnipeg, Canada
Posted 4-0 record – including a complete game two-hitter in a 1-0 eight-inning win over Canada in the title game – with a 0.00 ERA and 46 strikeouts recorded in 29 innings.
Gold medalist at the Coca-Cola USA Softball women’s National Team Festival in Fresno, CA

2000
Gold Medal 2000 Sydney Olympic Games
Finished tournament with 0.00 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 27.2 innings. Threw a 14-inning two-hitter against China, but a defensive error allowed two unearned runs to score to end the game. Errors also cost Smith against Japan, when she threw 5.2 innings of relief before three errors in the top of the 11th generated two unearned runs. Pitched eight shutout innings against China in the first playoff game before being relieved.

2002
ISF World Championships
Hitting .500 (5 for 10, one HR, 4 RBIs) and 1-0 on the mound
Professional:

2001
Played for WPSL Gold, a professional team consisting of 2000 Olympians

Japan Professional League Softball:
1993
Named Best Pitcher of the League
Japan Cup National Tournament Champions

1994
Team Championship in Japan League
Named MVP of the League, Named Best Pitcher of the League

1995
Japan Cup National Champions, MVP of the Cup

1996
Team championship in Japan League
MVP of the Japan League

1998
MVP of the Japan League
Team Championship in Japan League

1999
Team Championship in Japan League
Named MVP of the League, Earned Top Pitcher, Leading Hitter

2000
Named Best Pitcher of the League

2001
Team Championship in Japan League
Named MVP of the League, Earned Top Pitcher, Leading Hitter

HONORS AND AWARDS

Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (inductee for 2010)
ASA Softball Hall of Fame (inducted 2006)
All American ASA Women’s Major Fastpitch (1989 – 1998)
NJSIAA/Bollinger High School Hall of Fame (inducted 1998)
Shasta County Sports Hall of Fame (Redding Rebels, CA – softball)
ASA Sportswoman of the Year (1990 & 1994)
United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sportswoman of the Year (1993 & 1994)

PROFESSIONAL ENDORSEMENTS

3N2 Sports – Orlando, FL (2009 – present)
Rip-It Sports – Orlando, FL (2008 – present)
Musco Sports Lighting – Oskaloosa, IA (1996 – present)
JUGS Sports, Inc. – Portland, OR (1996 – present)
Nike – Portland, OR (1996 – 2004)
First female softball player endorsed – Air MS Softball Cleat developed in honor of Michele
Worth Sports – St. Louis, MO (1994 – 2007)
Worth, Inc. – Michele Smith Signature Series of bats, balls, and gloves
Official spokesperson for Little League Softball and Baseball

Television Program Appearances:

Oprah
Regis & Kelly
Today Show

Print publication features:

Sports Illustrated for Women
ELLE Magazine,
Women’s Sports and Fitness
USA Today
Forbes

Named by President Clinton as an advisor for the National Council for Athletes Against Drugs & Tobacco