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Herriman Journal

Herriman’s Smith a huge part of softball team’s success

May 09, 2024 01:11PM ● By Josh McFadden

Herriman softball player Tanzie Smith is a big reason why the Mustangs are once again among a select few teams expected to contend for a state title. (Photo courtesy of Heidi McKissick.)

The Herriman softball team has established itself as one of the steadiest programs in Class 6A. No one player is the reason for the team’s accomplishments, but some stand out. 

Junior Tanzie Smith is one of the Mustang’s most indispensable players. 

Smith, a utility player who can do just about everything, helped lead the Mustangs to an impressive 16-4 record through their first 20 games. Herriman competes in Region 2, arguably the toughest region in the state where it goes up against fellow state powers Riverton and Bingham, among other solid teams. In Region 2, Herriman was 6-3 as of April 25 a half a game behind second-place Bingham. At that point, Herriman also held the No. 3 spot in the RPI rankings. 

Despite playing in such a hotly contested region, Smith believes the Mustangs can win a state title. 

“My goal for myself for the rest of the season is do my job and stay consistent for my team,” she said. “I want to win state with my team; I want to get a ring. I think we want it more than anyone, and we are willing to put in the work and be the best of the best to win the title.”

Thanks to a sister, Smith got involved in softball.

She began playing tee ball, as many young players do. From there, she moved up to recreation-level play and then to travel teams around age 10. Smith has enjoyed her experience, especially making friends and building lasting relationships and memories. 

“I mostly started playing because of my sister,” Smith said. “I pretty much followed her footsteps and played all of the sports she did. I really loved the people I played with and made so many friends. I enjoy the environment; I love the girls I’ve played with. I also do love the game; I love playing it. I love catching and being a part of every play. I love to be a game changing hit and motivate my teammates.”

In her time at Herriman, Smith has been a part of some strong Mustang teams. Last season, Herriman went 23-6 overall and 7-3 in Region 3, good enough for third place, a game behind Riverton and Bingham, which tied for first. Herriman advanced all the way to the Class 6A state title game where it fell to rival Bingham 11-5 a day after losing to the Miners 3-0 in the double-elimination tournament. 

As a freshman, Smith and her teammates took some lumps, going 5-22 overall. The Mustangs have made quite a turnaround the past two season, with Smith being a big reason why. 

This season, Smith had two home runs, seven doubles and 32 RBI through the first 20 games. She leads by example by the way she plays and with how she conducts herself on and off the field. 

“I definitely do bring a lot of words to the team,” she said. “I am there for all of my teammates when they are in need. I do think I benefit my team with my bat, just doing my job and getting things done. When I was able to catch more, I took charge of the field, backed up my pitcher and helped steady the game.”

As the season progresses toward the end of this season, there are aspects of her game she wants to work on and polish. She said she could be a better leader and be there more for her teammates. 

“I want to improve my leadership and being always in the game,” she said. “I could definitely bring more to them with cheering and communicating.”

Smith has played for multiple teams during her softball career, but being a Mustang is something special, she said. She’s grateful to play alongside other hard-working, dedicated girls who are all working toward the same goal. Some of her best memories of playing for Herriman have been interacting with her teammates. 

“I love being there for the girls,” she said. “The freshman who came in this year have really done amazing, and I hope to help them and have them love the sport like I do. I love the friendships I’ve made. Some of these girls I’ve met have truly impacted my life so much.”

The 6A state tournament is fast approaching, with the first games slated to start May 16 with best-of-three super regionals. Bracket play then starts May 21 at the Valley Complex. Herriman expects to contend for the state championship, and that series will be held May 23 and 24 at Brigham Young University. 

No high school athlete could accomplish his or her goals and find success in any sport without people offering support along the way. Smith has a lot of gratitude for her family and coaches. 

“I give so much credit to my family,” she said. “My parents have come to my games and paid for all my softball needs. I give so much thanks to my sister; she is playing softball at Weber State, and she has been such a big support for me. Playing with her last year was truly the best experience. I am grateful for my coaches, who believed in me and trusted me. I give a big thank you to all of my coaches who have gotten me to the player I am today.”

Though a junior, Smith plans on graduating at the end of this year. She will then attend Salt Lake Community College.  λ 

NeuroHealth

 

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