E.A. Sports Today

Mom’s footsteps

Piedmont’s Smith, the Class 1A-3A All-Calhoun County player of the year, commits to play softball for Jacksonville State

Cover photo: PIedmont’s Savannah Smith announced Thursday her commitment to play softball for Jacksonville State University. (Submitted photo)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

Like mother, like daughter.

Savannah Smith, Piedmont’s all-state infielder/pitcher, announced via social media Thursday her commitment to play for Jacksonville State University and long-time coach Janna McGinnis.

She’ll follow in the footsteps of her mom and high school head coach, the former Rachel Stone, who played for JSU from 1994-96.

“Playing for mom’s alma mater is truly special,” Smith said. “Ever since I started playing softball, mom has always raved about how great of a coach and person Coach (Janna) McGinnis is. I’ve been to every single JSU Fan Day, and I’ve seen how great of a program she and her coaching staff have built. 

“I’ve always admired how their team is just one big family. I knew that if I ever got the chance, that I would love to be a part of something like that.”

Smith just completed her junior season, batting .458 with a .525 on-base percentage, six home runs, six triples, 18 doubles and 40 RBIs. In the circle, she was 14-5 with two saves, a 1.43 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 100 2/3 innings pitched.

She was the Class 1A-3A All-Calhoun County player of the year, and Piedmont has made its first three state tournament appearances of the program’s fastpitch era during her time as a starter. 

“Everyone I’ve really talked to about college has always told me that, ‘It’s gotta feel like home,’” Smith said. “From the moment Coach McGinnis brought me in and showed me around campus, I knew that that was where God wanted me to be.”

As for mom’s thoughts on her daughter following in her JSU footsteps?

“My heart might just burst into pieces,” she said.

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