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Rockingham County senior Taylor Smith recently signed a letter of intent to play softball and continue her education at East Carolina University following her high school education this spring. Shown (from left) are Grey Smith, Taylor and Stephanie Smith. Standing is her sister Tara.

WENTWORTH — Rockingham County senior Taylor Smith recently signed a letter of intent to play softball and continue her education at East Carolina University following her high school education later this spring.

From day one, it was clear Smith was going to be the Lady Cougars ace starter when she made the varsity squad as a freshman.

Smith pitched in 20 out of 22 games last season and finished with a winning record of 12-8. The Lady Cougars finished the season at 14-8 and made it to the 2019 3A NCHSAA state playoffs.

As a pitcher, she had a 2.72 ERA and struck out 122 batters. When balls were hit her way, Smith was virtually flawless as she accumulated a .950 fielding percentage.

Smith was no slouch on offense either as she compiled a batting average of .328, had a .431 on base and a .573 slugging percentage.

She had 20 hits, 21 RBIs and scored 12 runs in 2019. In addition, Smith hit seven doubles a triple and three home runs last season.

Rockingham head softball coach Scott Isley said on multiple occasions last season that when Smith was pitching, her team knew they were going to be tough to beat.

Isley and company are hoping for more of that when the 2020 season gets underway.

Considering Rockingham only lost three seniors, and the majority of the talent from last season’s team is coming back this year, expectations are once again high for the Lady Cougars in 2020.

Smith will join ECU head coach Courtney Oliver’s program that finished the 2019 season at 23-31 and appear to be on the rise with a talented recruiting class.

Smith and the Lady Cougars open up the 2020 season with a road trip at Southern Alamance March 4.

Contact Jim Sands at 336-314-1058 or on Twitter @jimsandsRCN.

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