Sports Spotlight - West Orange Times & Observer: Sophia Smith

Foundation Academy’s Sophia Smith is only in sixth grade, but the young pitcher is already displaying amazing poise and talent on the mound.

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  • | 12:02 p.m. March 7, 2019
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As a sixth-grader playing for Foundation Academy’s varsity softball team, Sophia Smith is a firecracker on the field. This season she has racked up a .478 batting average and has pitched 32 innings with 49 strikeouts. Coach Lisa Eaves said Smith has amazing poise on the mound, especially considering that she is facing girls older than her.


How did you get started playing softball?

I always thought softball meant volleyball, so I did this volleyball summer camp for Foundation one year. I thought volleyball was fun — it hurt my hands, though. My dad asked if I wanted to play softball, and I said I’d love to play softball. I asked him what softball was, and he said it was kind of like baseball, and originally I didn’t want to do it. He said, “Well you have a coach and team; you can’t undo it.” In the beginning, I thought I didn’t want to do it at all, but in the end, it was really fun. I was in third grade.

What’s the biggest difference between travel ball and playing for the school?

For travel, it’s much more competitive, and people go out there to win and get a trophy. In school ball, people do go out there to win, too, but mostly it’s for experience and fun. 

What’s your favorite aspect about softball?

I like it, because whenever I play, I can just relax and I know that I won’t be stressed. With school, I’ll be stressed with homework, but with softball, I can just relax and play.

How do you balance school and softball?

I’m home-schooled and get done with school around noon, so that’s definitely a big benefit. By the time I’m done with homework, it’s like 2 p.m. Then I can just do softball.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

My coach told me on my travel team to be a pit bull, which means to not quit and show that you’re a hard worker. He said not to be a “wet poodle” and soft, but to go out there and give it your all. For inspiration I also like the verse Philippians 4:13.

Do you have any pets at home?

I have a crazy cat; he’s ridiculous. He will sleep and drink out of our sink and sometimes the pool water. His name is Pepper.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an orthodontist. Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a dentist or orthodontist. When I went to the dentist’s office a month ago, I was talking to him and said I wanted to be an orthodontist but at the same time I want to be a dental hygienist, and he said that I should be an orthodontist. It’s a good job and flexible, and you get a good paycheck. 

Do you have a favorite book?

Right now I’m reading “Throw Like a Girl” by Jennie Finch and it’s probably my favorite so far, or “Bridge to Terabithia.”

Where would you like to travel to?

I would want to go to Germany, because my dad’s side of the family is from there and I think their language is really cool. There’s a lot of history in Germany, too, so I’d like to go to museums and such.


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