Paige Atkison, a standout softball player for the Sussex Central Golden Knights, is about to embark on her senior year of high school. Though, before that excitement, Atkison will participate in one of the largest college showcases in the entire country. Later this month, Atkison will join some of the best softball players in the Queen of Diamonds Softball Showcase held at Winthrop University.

The Sussex Countian caught up with Atkison to talk about her career at Sussex Central, her upcoming experience at the Queen of Diamonds college showcase, and what the future holds for the 17-year old.

Like many of her softball peers, Atkison started playing the sport at a young age. Encouraged by her parents, Atkison participated in youth t-ball moving onto different levels as she got older.

“I started playing softball when I was about five or six,” said Atkison. “My Dad played high school baseball growing up and my parents signed me up for t-ball and I fell in love with the game as I grew up. I’ve never looked back since that day.”

Throughout all of those years, Atkison has improved her skills on the softball field, now capable of playing three different positions, catcher, third base, and first base. However, if you ask Atkison, she would prefer to play catcher if forced to choose just one position to play.

“Catching would be my number one thing to do,” said Atkison. “You have control of the whole field; you get to give yourself up just to get the pitchers calls. You can see everything that goes on form the balls hit, to telling the cut off to go. You become the leader on the field and it gives you this confidence that no one can take away from you.”

The leadership the Atkison has learned from playing behind the plate has helped earn her the unique opportunity of showcasing herself for colleges all over the country. Atkison realizes the opportunity in front of her, and knows exactly what has gotten her to this point.

“I have learned to believe in myself more than ever and just play the game giving it one hundred and ten percent all the time and good things will happen,” said Atkison. “To improve upon my game and keep pushing, never be satisfied. I’ve worked hard but I know I have to keep working to get better every day to be the best I can be.”

Atkison is hoping to open some eyes of some of the colleges she’s interested in attending, all of which she plans on visiting this fall, such as Coker College, Limestone University, Cabrini College, and Lincoln Memorial University.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that my hard work is paying off,” said Atkison. “From all the long practices to the lessons, I just know that I can’t give up now. Getting to showcase myself in front of all those colleges, it will be an unbelievable experience. I’ll be playing with the best players in the nation and it will open a ton of doors for me and hopefully that will get me signed.”