By Mark Ambrogi
Perry Meridian High School softball player Paige McPhearson had a flawless senior season in center field.
McPhearson showed her defensive prowess by not making an error all season.
“Her command of the area and knowledge of how to read the ball of the bat gives her this advantage over others,” Falcons coach Megan Bowling said.
McPhearson said her biggest improvement has been defensively this past season.
“I learned when to make certain throws and to where,” she said. “Defense is definitely something I pride myself on because it takes both offense and defense to win a game and when offensively you are struggling, I can count on my defense to pull through.”
McPhearson said this was by far her best season defensively.
“At the plate, Paige mostly hits for power,” Bowling said. “She swings from the left side of the plate and is known for extra-base hits due to her speed. This season, I asked Paige to switch things up a bit more. She learned to power slap, which allowed her to tally a few more extra bases on steals. Paige is a great leader on the field and off the field. She spends a lot of time in the weight room, gaining the strength and stability needed for the season.”
McPhearson batted .448 with 11 doubles, five home runs and 24 runs batted in this past season.
McPhearson hit .465 with 10 doubles, one home run and 28 RBIs as a sophomore. In 2022, she batted .500 with nine doubles, five homers and 32 RBIs.
“In some cases yes it worked well for me, especially when I was struggling to get on base in a game,” McPhearson said of the change at the plate. “Power slapping allowed me to control where I put the ball which helped me a lot in getting on base and moving runners around.
McPhearson started playing softball when she was 6 years old.
“I did a variety of other sports such as basketball and volleyball, but I ultimately chose to stick with softball because I felt drawn to the sport,” she said. “My dream as I grew up was to play in college and in order for that dream to come true, I knew in high school I had to focus solely on softball, so I could give myself the best chance at reaching that level.”
McPhearson earned a scholarship and will play softball at IUPUI next season.
“The key in picking IUPUI was that it was close to home,” McPhearson said. “My family is very close, so I knew that wherever I went, it had to be close by. I look forward to meeting my new teammates and challenging myself to play at a higher level.”
McPhearson was named to the All-Marion County and Academic All-State team this past season.
THE MCPHEARSON FILE
NAME: Paige McPhearson
SCHOOL: 2023 Perry Meridian High School graduate
HOBBIES: Softball, reading, being outdoors
COLLEGE PLANS: Plans to play softball at IUPUI and major in biomedical engineering
FAVORITE SUBJECT: Science
FAVORITE ATHLETE: Former University of Oregon softball player Haley Cruse Mitchell
FAVORITE MOVIE: “Real Steel “
FAVORITE GENRE OF MUSIC: Pop
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT: Disney World in Orlando
PARENTS’ NAMES: Rod McPhearson and Michael and Margaret Martin