HOUSTON, Miss. (WCBI) — For the first time in school history, the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year comes from Houston high school.
Junior softball player Paige Kilgore received the honor, Thursday, and will become a finalist for the National Gatorade Player of the Year for softball that’ll be announced in June.
“I really didn’t believe it,” Kilgore said when seeing her named as the winner.
“I’m just blessed honestly, because I don’t know, I’ve put in the work, but if it wasn’t for my teammates, the coaches, and the good Lord, I wouldn’t have done it or couldn’t have done it”
Kilgore was dominant in 2020 before the fast-pitch season was cut short. The junior posted a 7-0 record on the mound, with a 0.43 ERA and 94 strikeouts. She also added a .438 batting average, with two home runs and ten RBI.
“She was throwing better this past season through the twelve games we played, that’s the best I’ve ever seen her throw,” Houston head softball coach Derick Kirby said.
“I’m going to say she’ll be even better next year when we start playing in February.”
As the first Houston high school athlete to take home the prestigious award, Kilgore hopes to set an example for softball players in her hometown.
“I just hope the younger girls, they see that if they put the work in, and if they set goals, then they can achieve them.”