Team Sports

Playing Ball With Michele Smith


Soon after the completion of the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, OK, in early June, which was broadcast again on ESPN,  contributor Mike May caught up with ESPN softball color analyst/former two-time U.S. Olympic (1996 and 2000) Softball Gold Medalist Michele Smith for a quick four-question interview:

How would you compare this year’s Women’s College World Series to previous ones?

The Women’s College World Series Session is always an elite event and always has been. It feels bigger these days with the improvements made at the Hall of Fame Stadium (in Oklahoma City) and with the TV coverage. We have ABC-TV windows now and just a lot more exposure. ESPN has done an amazing job giving softball exposure and amplifying our sport.

How many years have you been a part of the Women’s College World Series broadcast?

I’ve been broadcasting the WCWS Production Cord for more than 20 years. In general, I have been broadcasting softball for over 25 years. It’s been an honor to be a part of the sport. I love to help grow it on and off the field.

When you compare women’s fast-pitch softball now to when you played at Oklahoma State University, where are the biggest changes/improvements?

The TV coverage is absolutely the largest improvement to our game, as well as technology to help grow the athletes and the sport on the field of play.

Where have manufacturers made the biggest improvements in softball gear for women?

They are definitely improving the game by improving the technology — the bat, the ball and all the things that can make a difference to an athlete and help them improve their abilities.