Karlie Clutch keeps rolling along in college


We love a good “Local kid done good” story.

There’s a level of pride an entire community can take in seeing someone who grew up here move on to new challenges in life and excel. Here at the paper, we love seeing people we covered when they were younger excel in whatever endeavor they have taken on as adults or college students.

And we saw a cool story this week.

About one year ago, Indian River High School softball player Karlie Smith showcased her nickname “Karlie Clutch” in dramatic fashion when she lofted a game-winning homerun in the 7th inning in a thrilling contest against Delmar. Our sports reporter nearly lost his mind when Smith hit the shot, if his Twitter feed is any indication.

Well, this week we learned that Smith was named American Athletic Conference Player of the Week for her efforts during her freshman campaign at East Carolina University. Smith helped East Carolina top the University of North Carolina with her run scored and RBI to lift her team to a 4-3 win after trailing 3-0 in the 7th inning. Then, over two weekend games against the University of Connecticut, Smith launched grand slams in consecutive games.

She finished the week with 10 RBIs, five runs scored and two homers, in only 14 at-bats. For those unfamiliar with softball statistics, that’s remarkable.

We salute Karlie Clutch for her efforts in her freshman year, and wish her continued success long into the future.

It’s now May, and you know what that means — it’s time to get our game faces on for the season. Think local. Shop local. And suggest local. We’re all in this together.