TREMONT, Ill. — When most people think about relaxation, they think of the beach, the mountains or maybe a nice drive.
Paige McAllister thinks of pitching in big softball games. She’s a sophomore, with nerves of steel.
“I’m not nervous, something about the game gives me relaxation,” McAllister said. “I have that determination and the team feels the same. It takes the nervousness away.”
McAllister struck out 11 in a three-hit shutout Saturday as Tremont beat Brimfield-Elmwood, 1-0, for a class 2A regional title.
“She doesn’t let bad things bother her,” said senior catcher Hannah Nguyen. “Something happens and she just keeps going. She’s a hard worker.”
Not too many bad things happen when McAllister is pitching. She is 14-and-4 with 216 strikeouts this season. She has a tiny earned run average of 0.75.
She says a big reason for her success was playing last summer with her Tremont High School teammates on the Avanti’s Yellow Jackets.
“It builds trust, you have to know how wach other plays,” said McAlllister. “It helps a lot that we were with each other over the summer.”
Her coach agreed his pitcher on the importance of last summer.
“She learned how to be a pitcher there. (She) wasn’t just blowing (pitches) by people,” said Turks head coach Brian Patterson. “She had to learn how to find her spots, move the ball around and learn to be a complete pitcher.”
And now one of the youngest players on Tremont’s roster leads her team into the sectionals. And she won’t be nervous.
“No nervouseness is needed. It’s all confidence,” McAllister said. “It’s the ‘want ‘to be there. It’s great.”
Tremont faces Quincy Notre Dame at the Brimfield sectional Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.