Bella Smithson named NEFL Player of the Month for October

BYJess Caron

The Alliance Fastpitch is honored to recognize Bella Smithson (2024) from the Northeast Fastpitch League (NEFL) as Player of the Month for her remarkable October performance. Bella is a catcher and third baseman for the PA Strikers 18U National Lichtner. In October, Bella batted .444 with 3 singles and 1 double.


Bella Smithson’s journey into softball was a serendipitous shift from her early exposure to soccer. Adopted at a young age, her father’s love for baseball paved the way for Bella to discover and fall in love with softball. The authentic atmosphere of softball games and practices, with their challenges and unpredictable weather, has become an integral part of Bella’s life. Playing in extreme conditions – whether in scorching 100-degree weather or braving the freezing cold at 3:00 am – has instilled in her a sense of true grit and resilience.


For Bella, softball is more than just a physical sport; it’s a mental game that teaches patience and the art of bouncing back from failure. The sport, she believes, is 90% mental, fostering unparalleled confidence when hard work pays off. With parents and coaches who pushed her beyond her limits, Bella recognizes the invaluable lessons she wouldn’t have learned otherwise.


A standout memory in Smithson’s softball journey comes from her junior high school season when her team triumphed over a highly competitive rival. The true highlight came after the game when a young 10u softball player, part of Bella’s organization, the PA Strikers, approached her for a picture. Unaware of the impact she had made, Bella discovered the joy of giving back to the younger generation and being a positive role model.


Inspired by JMU’s Odicci Alexander, Bella not only excels on the softball field but also finds joy in a range of activities off the diamond. From hiking with her dogs to spending quality time with friends and family, playing basketball, and even meditating with her cat, Bella embraces a well-rounded and fulfilling lifestyle.


Academically, Bella sets high goals for herself, aiming to maintain her position on the distinguished honors roll and move up to the top 10% of her class. In basketball, she aspires to help her team secure a section championship, breaking a 30+ year drought. Similarly, in high school softball, Bella dreams of becoming repeat champions for both the section and league, with the added goal of clinching districts and advancing to states in the upcoming year.


In Bella Smithson, we witness not just an accomplished softball player but a resilient and ambitious individual who navigates the challenges of both sports and academics with unwavering determination. Her dedication to excellence extends beyond the field, making her a source of inspiration for those who follow in her footsteps.


What is the Alliance Fastpitch Player Recognition Program?

The Player Recognition Program was built to recognize and spotlight our individual players in each Member League. Each month, registered Alliance Fastpitch coaches can nominate a player from their age division. League Leadership will review nominations and a monthly stats report from AthletesGoLive (AGL) to determine the League’s Player of the Month.

Following the announcement of each League’s Players of the Month, the Alliance Fastpitch will recognize a National Player of the Month. To be considered for Player of the Month, your team must score League games in AGL so your stats will be included in the League’s monthly report.

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