Kylee Smith, a sophomore from North Georgia University, was named the 2018 DII Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for Softball as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.
Smith is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DII Honda Woman Athlete of the Year. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 42nd year.
“I am so honored to be nominated for such a prestigious award and to be able to represent the University of North Georgia at such a high level,” said Smith. “Even though this is an individual award, I would not have received this nomination without the constant hard work and support from not only my teammates but my coaching staff as well. #AllGasNoBrakes”
Smith, hailing from Suwanee, Ga., was recently named the 2018 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) DII Player of the Year after earning D2 Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) Ron Lenz Pitcher of the Year honors a week earlier. She is a two-time NFCA first-team All-American and was named to the DII NCAA Championship All-Tournament team this season.
The 2018 Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Pitcher of the Year led the nation in ERA (0.59), victories (36) and strikeouts (338) while boasting a .137 opponent batting average. She was a five-time PBC of the Week this season and earned PBC All-Academic and Presidential Honor Roll accolades.
“This is a tremendous honor for not only Kylee but our University and Softball program as well,” stated UNG head coach Mike Davenport. “Kylee represents the best that we here at the University of North Georgia has to offer. She is not only a talented athlete for us on the playing field but the ideal representation of what a true student-athlete represents in the classroom and in the community. Kylee takes pride in wearing the North Georgia uniform and understands the responsibility that she has to little girls across the country that aspire to play the game of softball at the collegiate level, and there is not a better role model to look up to.”
All Honda Sports nominees from DII and DIII become a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Honda Woman Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in a live telecast on CBS Sports on June 25, 2018, in downtown Los Angeles. The Honda Sports nominees are recognized in 11 DII and DIII NCAA-sanctioned sports; cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 42 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.