Faith and Family: How Carmyn Greenwood’s Impact at Louisville Stretches Beyond Softball

Carmyn Greenwood’s career as a Louisville softball player might be over, but her legacy will be felt for years to come. A transfer from Auburn, she joined the program before the COVID-shortened 2020 season, where she was immediately productive on the field. But it was the overall impact that the community had on Greenwood and vice versa, that makes this story unique.

Greenwood spent three seasons with the Auburn Tigers before entering the transfer portal after the 2019 season. When it came down to making a decision on her next stop, the Cardinals checked off a handful of boxes. With her younger sister Cassady already playing for Louisville, Carmyn opted to join back up with her longtime teammate.

“When I had really broken down to see the pros and cons, I noticed a lot of the pros were centered around family getting to come see us at one time, since it was already hard to try to split up time with who they were going to see”, Greenwood recalled. “My main decision point was just being able to let the family see us more and it gave me an opportunity to play with my sister.”

Looking back on the past couple of years, it may seem as if the Cardinals’ interest in Greenwood in the portal would have obviously been heavy, but head coach Holly Aprile admitted that the program had a couple different needs that the coaching staff was looking to address.

“There was the obvious connection (Cassady)”, Aprile explained. “Griffin Joiner, my assistant coach, was really instrumental in her recruitment; she was the first connection with Carmyn. At the time, we were certainly interested, but we also needed a pitcher and were looking at other positions as well.”

Greenwood’s first season as a Cardinal was quickly derailed when the coronavirus took the world by storm in 2020. In her senior season the following year, the senior outfielder started every single game and was recognized as an All-ACC Second-Team selection after batting .430 and leading the conference in hits. Louisville finished the season with a 21-28-1 record and did not make the tournament. With an extra year of eligibility on the table, Greenwood’s love for the game played a major factor in the decision.

“I had always told myself that I wanted to end my career on a good season because that’s what sticks with you”, Greenwood said. “I just kind of said I love the sport too much to give it up. I was just trying to tell myself that no matter the outcome, I’m playing because of my love for the game.”

Even with the Cardinals not making the tournament in 2022, that doesn’t take away Greenwood’s impact. The grad student slashed .400 with a 1.279 OPS to go with 14 homeruns and 18 doubles while dealing with multiple injuries throughout the course of the season. Ranking in the top-three of almost every statistical hitting category in the conference, she was named as a First-Team All-ACC selection. The verdict is still out on national All-American honors.

“She really left a tremendous impact”, Aprile said. “I think the single season records that she holds, just putting her name in the record books is huge. A team-oriented approach was a big part of her ability to do that. You’ll look back on it and remember how tremendous it was. We have had some great All-Americans here and I hope that the way our season ended isn’t going to affect her chances to be an All-American, because she definitely is worthy.”

For Aprile, Greenwood was extremely easy to coach, and a leader both on and off the field. “Carmyn tends to be more of a quiet kid, so not a lot of yelling or things of that nature”, she explained. However, she does a ton behind the scenes especially for our younger hitters. Carmyn did a really good job of helping them to be like a professional hitter: approach, practice, day-to-day, etc. She’s a leader in the locker room and on the gamedays, just leading by example. She’s very businesslike in how she practices. She’s a really nice kid and can joke around, but when she’s practicing, she’s on task. She is generally quiet and is very family oriented. Carmyn is also a very spiritual person and pretty active with our FCA group; I know that her faith is very important to her. From a coaching standpoint, she was always very receptive, an easy kid to coach, and outgoing overall.”

As noteworthy as her career was on the field, the journey off the field was even more remarkable in a handful of different ways. For starters, her faith was transformed in the Derby City.

I wasn’t involved much with FCA at Auburn because it was different”, Greenwood said. “But the second I got on campus here at Louisville, FCA has been probably the biggest part of my life. It changed the way I looked at the game, the way I looked at my life, etc. I have been able to start a small group in the softball team, and I think that’s the reason I was brought to this school in the first place. I’ve been able to show people more about Jesus and what He’s doing in their lives. And I’ve gotten a best friend from that. I’m very thankful that I was brought here, because I didn’t understand why I had to transfer from Auburn and lose all of that. Now I see a little bit of why God brought me here and I will forever be indebted to what He has allowed me to do.”

Watching her sister grow up and mature alongside next to her is also something Greenwood recognized as a blessing from her decision to come to Louisville. “It’s been really cool just to see the woman she’s become and how confident she has become in herself and willingness to make decisions that better herself while also put others first. I’m glad to have been here and got to witness her growth; it’s been a privilege and she’s my number one supporter.”

The Greenwood sisters teamed up withย Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that aids less fortunate children with food and nutritional assistance. With the help from their dad, the duo created the ‘CG’ brand and merchandise line, with all of the proceeds going to the charity.

Although her playing days may be over, Carmyn’s journey with softball will continue on as she coaches travel ball alongside her dad. “Growing up, I don’t think I ever wanted to be a coach”, she admitted. “But as it got closer to me being done playing, I was a lot more open to coaching and I had more knowledge of the game that I thought I actually had. After coaching last summer, I noticed a lot of the girls were listening to me and the way I was helping them. I think they probably encouraged me more than anything to continue coaching because they were extremely receptive and appreciative. I’m excited because it is a connection back to the game, I’m still able to see all my college friends staying here. It’s really great that I’m able to stay within the game and my work has allowed me to coach as well because they want me to have coaching as a top priority, if that’s what I want. I’m excited to see where coaching brings me and who knows, I could get into college coaching. As of right now, however, it’s just going to be travel.”

Greenwood’s journey in Louisville may have only begun in 2019, but it has left an impact that will last for years to come. The appreciation between her and the Cardinal fanbase is reciprocal.

“I just want to say thank you, Greenwood said when leaving final words for the fanbase. “We’re not always a perfect team and we have struggles, but all of you guys stuck around to watch us finish our season. I know next year you will still be out still cheering us when it gets to be the best we can be. We have some people that just are constantly wanting to be our number one supporters and hearing that and getting to talk to you after games is so heartwarming. We go out there every day and we work hard, but feeling that appreciation is special. Thank you and Go Cards!”

From faith to community service, single-season records to all-time program statistics, Greenwood’s quiet nature couldn’t stop her from leaving a loud impact. Simply put, the story of the history of Louisville Softball cannot be told without bringing up Carmyn Greenwood.

A list of records:

Single-Season

2nd in batting average: .430 (2021)

T8th in hits: 74 (2021)

T4th in triples: 7 (2022)

6th in RBIs: 52 (2022)

4th in runs scored: 54 (2022)

 

Career (2020-22)

1st in batting average: .408

2nd in slugging percentage: .657

4th in on base percentage: .453

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.