Kayla Pasha helps Metamora to the Class 3A Section Finals

WASHINGTON — Kayla Pasha has been a hitting machine for the Metamora softball team this season.

The senior left fielder has the No. 3-ranked Redbirds (28-5) ready for a Class 3A Sectional Championship battle with No. 4 East Peoria (29-6) at 4:30 p.m. Friday. This is Metamora’s first trip to the section finals since 2014.

Pasha found the majority of his success at the plate this season, setting single-season school marks in home runs and RBIs.

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“It’s great to have broken my own record, but it wasn’t really one of my goals for the season,” Pacha said. “I just wanted to move the runners that were on base when I got up at home plate. I couldn’t have done it without the team and so far it’s been such a fun season with my teammates.

Parkland College’s commitment hit its 11th home run last month to break its own single-season school record. She has a .421 batting average with 13 home runs, 45 hits and 57 RBIs. She and teammates Kaidance Till and Hannah Tellor have appeared in all 33 games for the Redbirds.

Metamora's Kayla Pasha (20) waits for her turn to bat while teammates watch from the bench during the Class 3A softball sectional semifinals on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at Jan Smith Field in Washington.  The Redbirds beat the Bloomington Purple Raiders 7-1 to advance to the Division Title game against East Peoria at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Washington.

“Some of our team’s goals were to win the conference, win a regional championship and stay consistent,” Pasha said. “My individual goals were to get all the conferences and keep my batting average and on-base percentage stable.”

The statistical feats don’t stop there. Pasha in April completed just one solo home run before hitting for a rare “home run cycle”. She had a grand slam, a three-run homer and a two-run homer against Beijing. That same month, Pasha delivered a hit to defeat at the time. 3 rated Rock Island.

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Pasha started playing the sport at a young age and only got better with each season. She started in kindergarten and quickly discovered a deep passion for softball later in her childhood.

“I don’t know the exact age I started liking softball, but I started playing T-ball around kindergarten,” Pasha said. “I then started travel softball in fourth grade and have been playing ever since.”

Pasha is not only an excellent all-around softball player for Metamora, but she is a multi-sport athlete, who also plays on the volleyball and basketball team. Her parents and coaches help push and guide her, and she credits them for her success.

“During the offseason, I usually continue to train alone or hit the field with my friends,” she said. “I’m also playing volleyball and basketball this off-season, so I’m still active.”

Pasha likes to keep his meal plan light before and after shifts to maintain stamina and stay energized. And as far as pre-game rituals go, she keeps it pretty low key until the playoffs.

“I usually eat a sandwich with a fruit or vegetable before the game because it’s quick to make,” Pacha said. “(And for rituals) not usually, but during the playoffs we brought rally caps to have in the dugout during games.”

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If there is one favorite memory of Pacha that she would like to relive: the “fun bus rides” to the national finals. She helped Germantown Hills break into softball, basketball, and volleyball while at Metamora Feeder School.

It can become a reality if Metamora can earn two more playoff wins.

John Komosa can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Jkom91.

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