01-24 preston signing

Prairiland senior Elizabeth Preston, center, signs her letter of intent to play softball at Austin College in Sherman. Seated, from left, are her mother Crystal Preston and Toby Preston. Standing, from left, are her brother Brandon Brewer, head softball coach Brian Morris, athletic director Greg Mouser, assistant softball coach Cayla Dobson and principal Jason Hostetler.

Since she was 7 years old, Elizabeth Preston has found joy on the softball diamond. Now, the Prairiland High School senior is going to pursue her passion at the next level after signing her letter of intent to play the sport collegiately at Austin College.

“I first got into it with tee ball, when I was just looking for something to do,” Preston said. “Over time I just fell in love with the game.”

What drew her to the sport, she said, is its unpredictability.

“There’s something new that happens every single game,” Preston said. “It seems like it’s always a new opportunity to make different plays.”

And as she fell in love with it, she quickly began to shine on the field. It didn’t take long for her to make a name for herself on the Prairiland softball team, head coach Brian Morris said.

“She’s an extremely talented player, and it shows in the way her teammates have trust in her,” he said. “She’s been voted the team MVP a couple times, and also won the overall heart award.”

As a freshman, Preston said she was impacted by the seniors on the team, as they provided her with role models to look up to and emulate. Now, she works hard to fill that role of mentor for the younger players.

The biggest way to be a role model for the younger players is to maintain a positive attitude even in the face of adversity and always working hard to hone her game, she said.

Primarily a shortstop for the Lady Patriots softball team, Preston also has experience playing middle infield and outfield. She’s still unsure where the coaching staff at Austin College will have her play, though.

“I’m just excited for all the new challenges and getting to know my new teammates,” she said.

“Elizabeth is a spark of energy on offense and defense, and she’s been a leader both on and off the field” Morris said. “She’s a model for hard work and the way you should act, and I think she’d be an asset that any program would be lucky to have.”

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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