The strangest place someone recognized me was in Costa Rica on a bus. I was going zip lining, where you get a hook put around you and you're kind of flying through the forest 50 feet up in the air. A family got on the bus and this high schoolgirl goes, 'Are you Michele Smith?' I was like, 'Oh my gosh I'm in the middle of nowhere, dirt roads, the forest.' It was pretty funny. It was really nice to meet the young lady. She had just blown out her knee. She was very devastated she was going to have to miss a year of softball.
ESPN's coverage has helped women's sports grow. To me that's what's very important. The American public is very schooled on men's team sports. We need to get them more schooled at watching women's team sports. Once people see a fast-pitch softball game they're like, 'Holy cow. This is great. These athletes are phenomenal.'
The exposure on television without a doubt has driven this event (WCWS). I truly give 100 percent credit to the NCAA and ESPN. I've been on the field when we didn't get a lot of TV coverage. When you have only three games a year on TV it's hard to build interest. When you have as many games as they have now, 80 or more games a year, people learn to love the sport.
Life is about relationships. Enjoy what you do. Be passionate about something that really piques your interest and build relationships in that. Today we've become so technology driven, so text message heavy and email heavy that we lose the ability to communicate face to face. The best relationships in life are the ability to look someone in the eye and carry on a conversation instead of a 140 (character) sound bite.