Booneville, Miss. (NEMCC Athletics/WTVA) - Paige Dill will keep the mascot "Tigers" for another two years following a successful stint with the Northeast Mississippi Community College softball program.
Dill has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to continue her sensational career on the diamond at the University of West Alabama.
"I think she'll do a good job giving them some speed in the outfield and will have an opportunity at the top of their lineup too," said Northeast head coach Jody Long. "She's a motivator and encourager. You need people like her that bring that positive energy and motivation day in and day out."
West Alabama, which is located in Livingston, Ala., just completed its second season under the direction of veteran coach Carie Dever Boaz. The Tigers have won 20 or more games during each of her campaigns at the helm.
"I honestly fell in love with the people," Dill said. "They were just so nice and the campus was really nice. I also know several people there so there was a great feeling of being at home too."
Dill was an exceptional addition to Northeast's roster during the 2018 season. She served as a catalyst at the top of the batting order for a team that improved its batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage compared to one year ago.
The Olive Branch native topped the Tigers in multiple offensive categories, including most walks at 25 and triples with four. She was the only Northeast player to cross the 50-hit plateau with 52 total on the season.
Her 23 stolen bases finished in a tie for the fifth highest in program history. She also concluded the campaign in a stalemate with Caleigh Wallace for the most runs scored for the Tigers with 42.
Dill added eight doubles and 20 RBIs to her offensive totals while laying down five sacrifice bunts. She appeared in all but one game during her lone season on the Booneville campus.
She hit the first two home runs of her entire softball career this year. Her inaugural homer was an inside-the-park job in a 10-4 victory by Northeast over Spoon River (Ill.) College at the Rush Invitational in Meridian.
Dill then crushed a solo dinger over the right-centerfield wall in game one of a huge Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) sweep at then 8th-ranked East Central Community College.
She had a season-best 11-game hitting streak that started on March 23 with a single in the second contest of a twinbill versus Jones County Junior College and ended 17 days later following a two-hit day against Northwest Mississippi Community College.
"It was awesome coming back home to be a Tiger," said Dill. "I made many awesome friendships that will last a lifetime. I had a great relationship with my coaches that I know will always support me. I'll always be there for them no matter what."
Dill played both center field and right field for Northeast. She excelled defensively with a .922 fielding percentage, which included 55 putouts, four assists and only five errors in 64 total chances.
She becomes the first Tiger to ever ink with West Alabama. Dill is the second Northeast standout to join a Gulf South Conference (GSC) member in the last two years along with former All-American Jessica Boyd at the University of Montevallo (Ala.).