It was the third game of the 2015 season for the Pacific Lutheran University’s Softball Team, but for one first-year, it was her first time playing on a collegiate diamond.
Facing off in one weekend, first against St. Martin’s and then Northwest, first-year Sydney Smythe finished the game going 5-7, scoring a solo home run and four RBI’s.
All these remarkable feats in one weekend earned her the athlete of the week honor for the Northwest Conference as the Out/Center Fielder for PLU’s softball team.
“It was one of the greatest feelings being able to get awarded athlete of the week,” Smythe said. “It was much of a surprise knowing that I’m a freshman and they were my first ever collegiate games.”
Head coach Lance Glasoe agreed, saying Smythe has taken advantage of all of her opportunities.
“Opening weekend was payback for all the hard work she has put in during the fall and winter training,” Glasoe said.
Throughout her high school athletic career at Elma High School, Smythe was a highly decorated player, on more than just the diamond.
On the basketball court, she was named defensive player of the year all four years of high school, and saw the team to three league championships.
On the soccer field, she served as captain for a year, and brought the team to first All-League team status for two years.
But on the diamond is where Smythe has shined the brightest and the longest, as she has been playing softball for 15 years.
Over that time she says it was “winning the state championship [her] senior year of high school” and “earning first team all state” were her greatest memories.
Smythe said that she is drawn to the game because of “the competitive nature” along with “the heart [she has] for the game.”
While her love for the game far exceeds the size of the ball she catches in the outfield, playing for PLU was not her intent when she came here.
During tryouts, Smythe actually just walked on.
“Sydney came to us as a walk on in the fall,” Glasoe said. “[Assistant] Coach Califano immediately identified her as a strong athlete who could help our program.”
Currently, the Lutes are 3-5 with the season just starting. Smythe said her goal is to “help the team get to the conference tournament.”
Even in her first year, Smythe has already established huge goals for herself as she looks forward to the next four years.
One goal she hopes to accomplish is getting the team to the national championships.
2012 was the last time the Lutes won the National College Athletic Association Championships.
Earning another title like that is a massive goal, but it is possible, especially with a player such as Smythe.
“I give everything I can to make the team the best we can be and that’s all we can ask from every one of our players,“ Smythe said.