Milford's Shannon Smith is ESPN Boston Miss Softball

ESPNBoston.com and its high school section announced today that Shannon Smith, senior pitcher for the Milford Scarlet Hawks, is the recipient of its third annual “Miss Softball” award, presented annually to the top player in Massachusetts.

This is the second straight season in which Smith has earned the Miss Softball honor.

The Miss Softball Award winner was chosen by a panel of experts made up of ESPNBoston.com staff, correspondents and state softball coaches. Smith will be presented with the award at a later date.

“I think we’ve all run out of adjectives to describe how great a high school softball player Shannon Smith has been,” said ESPN Boston High Schools co-editor Scott Barboza, who coordinates the site’s softball coverage. “Put simply, Shannon is a record-breaker and ends her career as one of the greatest all-time talents Massachusetts has ever seen.”

In her senior season, Smith broke the state’s all-time strikeouts record, finishing with 1,219 for her career while leading the Scarlet Hawks to their second straight MIAA Division 1 state championship game victory. Smith was 25-1 this year, with 358 strikeouts and an earned run average of 0.04. She was also one of Milford’s top offensive threats, hitting .489 with an .869 slugging percentage, along with a team-leading nine home runs and 35 RBIs.

In 2012, Smith went 24-0 with a minuscule ERA of 0.08. She allowed just 29 hits over 167 innings thrown with 359 strikeouts and 29 walks, while allowing only six runs all season, two of which were earned. Smith also threw four shutouts in the postseason on the Scarlet Hawks’ drive to the Division 1 state championship and an undefeated 25-0 record.

At the plate, Smith hit at a .460 clip with nine home runs and 40 RBIs.

Smith was also named Massachusetts softball Gatorade Player of the Year earlier this month, marking the third time the Milford ace claimed the award. Smith first won the award during her freshman campaign and again in 2012.

“Even for a player of her stature, when she started as a freshman and the bar was set so high, she set it higher every year,” Milford head coach Brian Macchi said. “Whether it was her pitching, at the plate, or her defense, she set goals and became a better player. The progression was amazing to watch.

“It’s sad to see her leave here, but I know she has the skill set and the drive to be very successful at the next level.”