The Pirates have placed multiple players on All-Conference teams in each of the last four seasons
The Hall stands at 8-2 on the year after a second-straight 4-1 weekend
The senior speedster now has a program-record 68 stolen bases
Faith Laudano and Alexis Walkden both hit three-run home runs in the sixth inning
The Pirates will play five games in three days at the ULM Softball Complex
Paige Smith enters her fourth season as the head softball coach at Seton Hall University.
Smith made a profound impact on the program in her first year on the job as the Pirates qualified for the BIG EAST Tournament for the first time since 2009 and captured eight conference victories, the program's highest BIG EAST win total since 2010. Additionally Seton Hall saw three student-athletes receive All-BIG EAST accolades, marking the first time since 2009 the Pirates landed any players on an All-Conference team and the most All-BIG EAST honorees for SHU since its historic 2005 campaign.
Smith raised the bar even higher in her third season, leading the Pirates to 25 wins and 10 conference victories in 2015. A postseason run at the BIG EAST Tournament led The Hall to the Tournament title game, a two-run affair seen on national television.
In addition to the team success in 2015, Smith mentored Alexis Walkden to become the first Pirate to win BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, as Walkden clubbed a single-season program record 23 home runs to also earn a unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team nod. Walkden was joined by teammates Danielle Sestaso and Yasmin Harrell to give The Hall a trio of first team performers for the first time in program history. Walkden was also an NFCA All-Region selection as a freshman.
Take one look at the numbers and it is immediately apparent where Smith's influence sparked a tremendous turnaround. nI just one year Seton Hall saw its team batting average jump by 61 points, its slugging percentage increase by 95 points and team stolen bases more than double, jumping from 30 in 2012 to 74 in 2013. The Pirates also broke or tied five single-game school records, scoring 16 runs in a game twice, tallying 19 hits on two occasions and setting a new record for single-game margin of victory in a 16-0 win at Saint Peter's.
In year two under Smith, Seton Hall saw three more players capture All-Conference honors, including a pair of first-team members in Jackie DiPietro and DeStaso. Infielder Maria DeLuca was named Second-Team All-BIG EAST.
Prior to taking over at Seton Hall Smith spent five seasons at Division II Adelphi, compiling an overall record of 169-104-1 and leading the Panthers to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. Smith burst onto the scene at Adelphi in 2008, setting a program record for wins (Division II), racking up a 41-21 record and guiding the Panthers to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Throughout her tenure, she kept Adelphi a perennial contender in the competitive Northeast 10 Conference.
In 2012, Adelphi posted a 35-20-1 record and reached the NCAA Regional Semifinals. Under her tutelage, Smith coached 29 All-Conference, 11 All-Region, four CoSIDA Academic All-District honorees, and a Daktronics All-American in Samantha Johnston.
Prior to Adelphi, Smith spent the 2007 season as the first assistant coach with the St. John's University softball program where she worked primarily with middle infield and outfield instruction, hitting instruction and all areas of recruiting. Smith worked extensively with Loren Anguiano, who currently plays professional softball with the Philadelphia Force.
Smith's coaching career began in 2003 as an assistant at Louisburg College in North Carolina, where she helped the squad win a Region X Championship. She then moved on to her alma mater, North Idaho, in her hometown of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where she aided to a NJCAA College World Series berth in 2006.
During her playing days, Smith started at North Idaho before moving up to Campbell University following her sophomore season. While at North Idaho, she earned NJCAA Academic All-America and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American Scholar Athlete honors in 2000 and 2001.
At Campbell, she started 100 out of 112 games and was voted team captain in 2003. Smith received Presidential and Intercollegiate Scholar honors from 2001-2002 and made the A-Sun All-Academic Team in 2002 and 2003. She also earned the Coaches Award in 2003.
Smith graduated from Campbell University in 2003 with a bachelor's of science in physical education. She later earned her masters of science in adult education and organizational learning from the University of Idaho in 2005.