2021 Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Year: Payton List, Beaver
Friday, July 2, 2021 | 4:00 PM
2021 HSSN Softball Player of the Year
After missing out on her sophomore season in 2020, Payton List had the perfect return to action for her junior campaign this spring.
List was exceptional in the circle and at the plate in leading Beaver to WPIAL and PIAA Class 4A championships with an undefeated 2021 season.
“There are so many highlights to look back on this season with her,” Beaver coach Amy Haggart said. “Just when I have thought I saw her pitch her best game, she goes out and outdoes herself in the next. As the competition got better, she rose higher and shut people down. We played probably one of the strongest postseason schedules against some high quality teams, and Payton played above them each time.
“One of my favorite highlights was in the matchup that everyone wanted to see against Elizabeth Forward. The excitement and happiness that Payton had as she struck out the last batter to win the game and celebrate with her team was one that stood out to me. Nothing, however, beats her celebrating with her team after winning the state championship undefeated. The pure excitement on such a great season and a great team win was written all over her face.”
The list is a long one of the Virginia Tech recruit’s accomplishments this spring.
In the circle, List finished with a 16-0 record and an ERA of 0.64 with 233 strikeouts in 120 innings pitched.
“She is competitive from the first pitch to the last pitch,” Haggart said. “No matter what, she always tries to find a way to win. Her overall presence on the mound and knowledge of the game set her apart from others. She is able to maintain her focus and composure. Coaches say all the time their players are competitive, but I can honestly say that I have never seen or coached someone with as much passion to win as Payton. Her desire to win motivates others around her to play at a higher level.”
List also was strong at the plate as well with a .409 batting average (27 for 66) with five home runs, 23 RBIs, a .468 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .818 in leading Beaver to a second WPIAL title and a first PIAA softball crown.
“She works equally as hard offensively as well,” Haggart said. “She can hit from both sides of the plate which makes her that much more versatile. She is usually one of the first ones on the tee to begin her swings before a game and wants to make sure that she is not only contributing defensively but also offensively. Her aggressive base running and knowledge helped us to win the state championship because she knew when to take advantage of an open base causing the opposing team to make a throw and allowing Payton to score on their error. She is just an all-around heads-up player.”
No rest for the weary, List recently returned home from a travel tournament in Colorado and found the time for a little POY Q&A.
Has it sunk in yet what you and your Bobcats teammates accomplished in winning double gold this season?
A little but not all the way in yet.
What was the difference between winning a WPIAL championship and a state title?
State was just more because no one in school history won one before.
Was there any point in the postseason where you thought, “Hmm, this doesn’t look good for us?”
Nope, I was always confident in my teammates.
Besides winning the championships, what made this 2021 special for you?
Being able to play in general, because of covid.
How did it feel that Beaver was the only baseball or softball team in the state to go undefeated?
Really awesome, best feeling.
Do you get more pumped in striking out the side or hitting a bases-loaded double?
Hitting a bases-loaded double.
What is the percentage breakdown of how much you work/practice your pitching as opposed to hitting? Is it close to 50/50?
I do a 50/50.
Why Virginia Tech?
I fell in love with the campus when I first saw it, and I knew it was home.
If not softball, what other sport do you think you could excel in?
Do a lot of people spell your name P-E-Y-T-O-N and who were you named after?
Yes, a lot of people spell it like that, and I was not named after anyone.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Chocolate raspberry truffle.
Who is the person you admire the most?
My mom and dad because they help me get better every day.
Hanging out on the beach or camping in the woods?
If you had walk up music, what song would it be?
“Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osborne.
Chore you hate the most?
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