SIKESTON - Paige Silverthorn has signed an athletic scholarship to play softball at Division II Delta State University located in Cleveland, Ms.
Silverthorn was a sweet swinging lefty at the plate and a defensive weapon wherever Sikeston head coach Tiffany King put her.
"We could play Paige anywhere," said King. "My first year at Sikeston we had her at catcher and this season we started her at shortstop and then switched her to the outfield. Paige excelled at every position she played. She is very competitive, which can turn some of her teammates off at first, but her competitiveness just rubs off on everybody. We switched Paige to the outfield because we were struggling early on in the season. Once Paige got out there, everybody in the outfield got more comfortable with her presence and she changed our momentum as a team."
Silverthorn had a stellar season for the Lady Bulldogs at the plate and in the field. Offensively, Silverthorn batted .394 with 8 RBIs, 21 hits, three doubles, two triples, scored 17 runs, 14 walks and stole 12 bases.
In addition, Silverthorn had a .530 on base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage.
Defensively, Silverthorn made only one error on the season at the catching position and was errorless at shortstop and in the outfield.
The southern charm of Delta State was a positive influence on Silverthorn's choice of schools.
"I went down there for a visit and everyone was just so friendly and welcomed me like I was a part of their family already," said Silverthorn. "They are really into baseball, football and softball down there and I think I really fit in well. Another positive that I am not used to is the fact that everybody is really into girls sports."
While Silverthorn is excited about her new location next fall, she expressed some remorse in being away from home.
"I am going to miss all my friends," said Silverthorn. "It won't be as bad though, because my friends are going off as well. It is going to be hard to leave my parents because we are so close. They are everything to me and it is going to be tough, but I will manage. Coach King has become a really close friend and she has given me some good advice. I will miss having her so close."
King echoes the sentiments of Silverthorn.
"Paige is just a great girl to know," said King. "We just have a great relationship and she is going to be fine in college and in life."
Silverthorn was not only a softball standout, but was a key member of the Sikeston basketball team and was a first team All-District goalie for the soccer team. Silverthorn was also a second team All-Region selection in soccer.
Silverthorn has no doubts that she can be productive at the next level.
"I have been playing all summer long getting ready for the upcoming season," said Silverthorn. "I know at the college level you have to practice and workout harder than you did in high school. I have started a workout that I believe will help me down the road. I have confidence in myself and I know I can handle anything they throw at me."
Delta State has softball in the fall and spring, with the main season in the spring.
The team is coached by David Kuhn.
"Coach Kuhn is a great guy and seems to know what he is doing in regards to softball," said Silverthorn. "I have met some of the incoming freshman and they seem great. I am excited to get going."
Silverthorn expects to play the outfield for the Lady Statesmen and King believes that no matter where she plays, Silverthorn will do well.
"Paige is going to be okay," said King. "She has a ball player's mentality and has the determination to succeed. Paige will do whatever it takes to win. She has a great attitude and is also a good teammate."