The Lady Farmers enjoyed a resounding start to District 6-6A play last week with run-rule victories over Plano West and Plano East. Just a sophomore, Paislie Allen made her presence felt in both contests, batting .667 with six hits, including a double, triple and home run, plus eight RBIs and two runs scored.
Allen was named Star Local Media Athlete of the Week after receiving 36% of the online reader vote. Also up for consideration were Landon Marquez (Sunnyvale), Ja'Kobe Walter (McKinney), Gabby Coffey (Prosper) and Ella Lowe (Lake Dallas).
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SLM: Lewisville is already close to matching its win total from last season. What do you attribute to the team's early-season success?
PA: I really believe we are a stronger team this year, but in different ways. One of the things we do that I feel is a tremendous help is review game film before school twice a week. Coach Albert pulls up specific clips to our previous games and we discuss certain game-changing plays. She asks us what we were thinking in that scenario. She then provides feedback on how the play could have been executed better or different. I feel those meetings help everyone on the team get better.
SLM:In what ways has your game improved since freshman year?
PA: I feel I am playing more relaxed now that I have been through a varsity season and I know what the expectation is for our team. I am trying to be more encouraging to my teammates during games so they can play more relaxed, too.
SLM:What did it mean to be named 6-6A's freshman of the year last season and what did that do for the expectations you have for yourself going forward?
PA: It was a great honor and I was very thankful to be recognized in that manner last season. My only expectation for this season is to play my game, at my level and help my team grow and get better. I want to contribute in any way possible for us all to be successful.
Coach Albert has explained she wants us all to get 1% better every outing, at practices and games, so I feel we are all focusing on doing just that as a team.
SLM:How has it been adjusting to new head coach Porscha Albert?
PA: I miss Coach (Lori) Alexander and enjoyed having her as a coach last year. They both have very different coaching styles even though the end goal was always the same. Coach Albert has been great. She coaches very similar to what I am used to with my select team so not too difficult a transition at all.
She takes a more hands-on approach with our training. We all have noticed more field time this season as well. We also got the opportunity as a program to team-bond starting in the fall, so I feel that has helped us really play well together now that games have started.
SLM:What has it been like juggling softball and track, and what is your schedule like practice-wise throughout the week?
PA: I have always participated in several sports in years past, the two now I chose to continue with just happen to be at the same time. Mondays, I split my time -- start at softball during the class period and take a bus to our main campus after school for track practice. Tuesdays are game days so I stay and rest with my softball team pregame. Wednesdays, I am at track practice during class and stay after school for my workouts, hand-offs, and high jumping. Thursdays have been track meets, so I report to track and catch a bus to our meet location with my track team. Fridays are softball game days so I stay with softball.
I make sure to check in with my coaches on Sunday and get my schedule for the upcoming week. When track meets move to different days or softball moves, my mom shuttles me from one sporting event to the next. I have already experienced that this season during our last tournament. I finished up playing two softball games at Byron Nelson and then went to Grand Prairie for a meet.
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