Rams Softball Standout Signs with Sooners, Brings Versatility to National Powerhouse
By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
Paige Knight has played many positions throughout her softball career.
That versatility has paid off as she is headed to play for the University of Oklahoma after signing last month.
But she knows that joining the Sooners, one of the nation’s top softball powerhouses, is just the next step.
“It’s so exciting because working up to (the college level), you always have to work, work, work and signing has taken some stress off because I’ve made it, but I haven’t made it yet,” Knight said. “I still have to work my tail off, I still have to work every day, practice every day, just to get there and play, and that’s all I want to do.
“I have to work in order to be good,” Knight added. “My dad says I can’t just wake up and play and I know that. I have to work on high-speed agility, conditioning and everything. And when I do, I feel like I’m the best, at the top of my game. That’s why I always have to work.
Knight, who chose OU over Kansas, Missouri and Mississippi State, has played every position except catcher. She has pitched in the past but had to stop her sophomore year because of shoulder surgery.
“Having to sit out was really hard,” she said. “I was out for nine months and I knew that it was really going to be hard to come back to where I was playing and just getting over the hump, and when I finally got over it, that was the best way to get over that hump.”
The fun and the atmosphere softball provides is what Knight likes about the sport.
“People always yelling, always cheering, the ups and downs, and all the players — everybody becomes family,” she said.
Knight likes Jennie Finch, the former collegiate All-American and medal-winning Olympian, as her all-time favorite player. She also likes Lauren Chamberlain, a former OU standout.
“I love how she swung the bat,” Knight said of Chamberlain.
Knight said she knew OU was the place for her to go the moment she set foot on the campus.
“My mom wanted me to keep all my options open. So I had to keep an open mind and go through all the schools and when I got there, I just fell in love,” she said. “After the camp, I just knew, I said ‘Mom, this is it. This is where I’m going to go.’”
Knight has gotten to know Sooners’ head coach Patty Gasso.
“She’s a hard worker,” she said of Gasso. “She expects the best from everybody, so I’ve got to give her the best.”
Knight is also looking forward to reuniting with former Lady Ram teammate Riley Boone, who is there now.
“I can’t wait. She’s my best friend,” Knight said.
As she leaves Owasso behind, she said “breaking the curse and getting past the first round,” is her favorite memory at the high school level.
That of course was in reference to the fact that Owasso had been getting eliminated in the first round of the Class 6A state tournament in previous years.
This year they made the final, which included beating a two-loss Broken Arrow team in the semis, which also made it special.
“I love playing Broken Arrow because you live for the rivals, you live for whose the better team and we came out on top,” Knight said.
The Owasso star can now look forward to making waves with the Sooners.