By Tony Burns
Smackover's Abby Crawford signed to play softball for Arkansas State University's club team on Friday. The senior was an All-State pitcher and first baseman for the Lady Bucks last season.
Smackover coach Dennis Steele said the Lady Wolves recruited Crawford as a pitcher. As a Lady Buck, she contributed all-over the field, at the plate and in the dugout.
“The thing with Abby is, she's a team leader, very hard worker. She's just a great team player,” Steele said. “She practices every day. She never misses. That's huge. She's made a commitment and wants to go on and play at the next level. Those are things you've got to do. Plus, she's a good student. Her education is probably the most important thing for her. I think A-State is a great fit for her there. Abby is going to be a great asset to their program.”
As a junior, Crawford posted an 18-7 record in the circle with 160 strikeouts. Offensively, she batted .337 with four home runs, 10 doubles and 31 runs batted in. She spent the summer playing travel softball.
As for her senior season, Steele expects to same from Crawford.
“Nothing different. She's going to be my three hitter. I expect her to hit the ball and lead the team, lead by example,” he said. “That's one thing she does, she leads by example. She doesn't cry or moan. She's a competitor. She wants to win. The biggest thing about Abbi is not that she likes to win but she hates to lose. That's important for any athlete. Everyone wants to win. But, the key is hating to lose. That's her. She's a competitor.”
Arkansas State's club team won the Mid-American East Conference championship and the Mid-American Regional Championship in 2018.
“She's a great young lady,” Steele said. “I'm very proud of her for all her accomplishments here at Smackover. Her future is just now starting.”