Do-it-all Ike softball standout named to All-State squad

By: Timothy Pontzer | Shelby - Utica News | Published July 16, 2018

 Utica Eisenhower junior utility player Paige Kolinski lines up a pitch during a contest earlier this year. Kolinski earned first-team All-State honors after tallying a .567 batting average, 16 home runs and 59 RBIs this season.

Utica Eisenhower junior utility player Paige Kolinski lines up a pitch during a contest earlier this year. Kolinski earned first-team All-State honors after tallying a .567 batting average, 16 home runs and 59 RBIs this season.

Photo provided by Michelle Smith

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Despite being the only junior on her team this season, Paige Kolinski made her presence felt.

A standout all over the diamond for Utica Eisenhower, Kolinski was named first-team All-State as a utility player by the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association.

“Being named to the All-State team was truly an honor,” Kolinski said. “Being recognized amongst all the other talented players in the state was very exciting, especially as a utility player.”

Bob Hall just completed his fourth year at the helm of Ike’s program. He had high praise for Kolinski, highlighting her ability to fill in wherever she was needed in the lineup.

“Paige is an outstanding all-around player with a fantastic bat. She played almost every position for us except pitcher,” Hall said. “She started out as a catcher, then played shortstop, some outfield, then first base and finally ended up at second.”

Kolinski led the Eagles with 16 home runs, a .567 batting average and 59 RBIs.

“Her bat came alive this year,” Hall remarked. “She’s very deserving of her All-State honor. She’s also a great leader on the field and in the classroom. I’m extremely proud of her. I’m privileged to coach so many outstanding athletes.”

A team captain this year, Kolinski said she relishes her role.

“Leadership is my strength both on and off the field,” Kolinski said. “I really enjoy helping and teaching others. I love being someone that others can come to for help.”

Kolinski started on the JV roster as a freshman, but was pulled up to varsity for the postseason. A starter as both a sophomore and a junior, Kolinski praised Hall and his staff in aiding her development.

“The coaches have helped me grow and develop both as a player and person,” Kolinski remarked. “They have always had confidence in my abilities to be able to help the team at several different positions. They push me to the best I can be. They taught me to always want more and work hard to get better. I know that working hard to achieve goals will help me succeed at the next level.”

The next level for Kolinski will be at Saginaw Valley State University, where she will continue her softball career.

“My sister goes there now, and I love the campus,” Kolinski explained. “I’m not yet decided on my exact major, but they offer programs that I’m interested in. The softball coaches and program are great.”

While Kolinski greatly looks forward to her time as a Cardinal, she still has unfinished business as an Eagle.

“I’m most proud of my time with the 2017 varsity team, which brought home a district title. We were very close to winning regionals, too,” Kolinski said. “I’m very excited about my senior year next year and look forward to leading Ike to another district title.”

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