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Paysen makes U of L softball team

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Former Lady Hawk standout was notified of selection by e-mail

By Ron Benningfield

Former Lady Hawks softball standout Tesha Paysen has made the University of Louisville's softball squad after trying out last week.

"I was really excited when I got the e-mail saying that I'd made the team," the freshman biology major and 2008 LCHS graduate said.

Paysen set a school record for stolen bases last season with 86 and was named to the Fifth Region All Tournament team. During the summer, she was also named to the Kentucky All-State Softball's Class 2-A first team.

She had been thinking about a walk-on tryout since she graduated from high school in May.

"I was a little nervous about trying out, but once I got on their softball field, I tried to put all that behind me and to focus on what was at hand," she said.

Tryouts started Thursday at 6 p.m. with Paysen and three other girls attempting to make the team.

"After we stretched and threw some to warm up, all four of us took turns hitting a half-bucket of balls from a machine," she said. They each attempted five sacrifice bunts under the watchful eyes of head coach Sandy Pearsall and her assistant Carol Bruggeman. The coaches then checked them for speed.

"They had us run from home plate to first base three times, each time checking us with a stopwatch," said Paysen. "They didn't tell us what our times were."

Next, the girls displayed their arm strength.

"They put all of us in centerfield, hit balls to us and we had to throw first to second base, then third, and finally home. We did that twice," she said.

The final assessment came in the infield where each of the girls twice took grounders at third, short, and second base.

The complete tryout lasted only a little over an hour. The wait for results seemed much longer.

"About 9:15 I got an e-mail congratulating me on making the team," she recalled. "It read, 'Welcome to the family.'"

She said one of the other three also made the team. Paysen reported to the team Monday for off-season conditioning instructions.