Courtney Coppersmith plays in a UMBC softball game. Photo Credit: Courtesy of UMBC Athletics.
Courtney Coppersmith plays in a UMBC softball game. Photo Credit: Courtesy of UMBC Athletics.

During UMBC softball’s NCAA Tournament regional games in May, broadcasters misspoke when identifying the team’s nickname and conference.

The four-time reigning America East champions found themselves once again in postseason play, but despite this sustained run of success, they seemed to still not garner much attention from the national media.

Enter two-way standout Courtney Coppersmith, the defining player for Retrievers softball from 2019-2023, ready to defend her team and the America East at a moment’s notice.

“I definitely think that mid-majors fly under the radar a lot when it comes to everything,” Coppersmith said. “I was so happy at how much success mid-majors had this past year in the tournament. I think it’s finally showing that you shouldn’t underestimate teams that are just as good as some of these bigger schools.”

As one of the best UMBC athletes of all time, Coppersmith’s impact during her five-year career cannot be underestimated. She is one of roughly 100 pitchers in Division I history to record 1,000 career strikeouts. She earned America East Pitcher of the Year honors four times, a first in conference history. She was a second-team All-America East selection as an outfielder in 2022 and a second-team all-conference pick as a utility player in 2019.

The 5-foot-9 left-hander from York, Pa., has evolved from a player who didn’t want to be in the spotlight to a vocal leader, but her performance on the field has done most of the talking.

“There’s a lot,” Coppersmith said in reflecting on her career. “It’s finally starting to come to that realization once you actually have to put everything together so it’s all in one spot. It becomes overwhelming, personally, of how much there is, but at the same time, that’s also such a blessing because I know that I’ve worked really hard over the past five years.”

On top of it all, Coppersmith was named the 2021-22 America East Woman of the Year. A multi-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, she takes her studies at UMBC as seriously as her play on the field. She is currently working on her master’s degree in chemistry.

“When I arrived for my first year here, she was a freshman,” UMBC head coach Chris Kuhlmeyer said. “Just being able to sit back and watch this kid grow into not just a great student, a great person and a great teammate, but just one of the most dominant left-handed pitchers I’ve ever seen.”

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