Vista (Calif.) Rancho Buena Vista High School Class of 2021 outfielder Paige Dimler signed with Arizona back in November during National Signing Day, making her childhood dream of playing for the Wildcats a reality.
“When I was younger as a pitcher, as probably most softball players were, I was a pitcher from when I started playing softball when I was 6 until I was about 14 and Jennie Finch was my idol,” said Dimler. “She was so cool. She was No. 27, so I was No. 27. And knowing that she went to Arizona just by default made that my dream school because I was like, ‘Oh, I want to be the next Finch. Going Arizona, I am not going to be the next Jennie Finch because I don’t pitch anymore. I definitely achieved my dream to play for such a good program.”
The Vista, Calif., product will achieve her dream wearing the block “A” with the 2021 recruiting class that will be joining the Wildcats program for the 2022 season.
The 2021 recruiting class is smaller than the 2020 class, with only four players — Dimler, Madi Elish, Amber Toven, and Allie Enright — but it has versatility.
Dimler is ranked as the No. 31 recruit in the nation by Extra Inning Softball, and No. 93 in the nation according to FloSoftball.
Here’s the Q&A from part of the interview covering her recruitment to Arizona and getting to play for coach Caitlin Lowe, who has replaced the retired Mike Candrea. The complete interview is in the video below.
For Arizona fans that maybe haven’t seen you play yet, or haven’t seen any highlight videos, how would you describe yourself as a player?
PD: “I’m an outfielder. I would say I’m the type of person who just as a ball is hit, I’m going to catch it. That’s my goal, the ball is hit, I’m going to catch it or (make a) play at home. That girl, don’t run from second to home, because I’m going to throw you out, that kind of thing. At the plate, I can hit the long ball but I can also hit to get base hits because I’m relatively quick. So if I get on base, there’s a good chance I can make it to second. I like stealing. I would say that I can hit the long ball and get on base for average.”
What was the recruiting process like?
PD: “Honestly, it was kind of a pretty quick process. I was pretty diligent in doing my emails and putting myself out there to get recruited because I knew from Day One that it was my dream to play college softball. I knew that I had to put in the work on my end to get it done. I would say that the whole process probably happened from around the beginning of summer until November. When I committed, I saw coach Candrea and coach Caitlin at a lot of games over the summer in Colorado. That’s when they invited me to their camp in September. I went out there, had a nice conversation with Coach after the camp, and got invited to come back. I got an offer, got invited to come back on a visit. And that’s how it all happened. And pretty quick, like I’d say a five-month process. Not quick, but definitely not too long.”
Let’s fast forward to February. You’re at Hillenbrand. You hear 3,000 people screaming and excited that the season started, and you’re on that field. What do you think that moment is going to be like for you?
PD: “I’m just going to need to take a deep breath, that’s for sure. Because to play for a program like Arizona that has such an incredible fan base and so much support from the community, it’s definitely going to be pretty surreal when I step out there for the first time for my first step and turn to see 3,000 people in the stands supporting me like that’s going to be an awesome feeling.”
After receiving Dimler’s letter of intent in November, Candrea mentioned, “Paige plays the game with great energy and has been a consistent offensive performer. She has been committed for three years and will be a great addition to our quickness returning in the outfield.”
Dimler mentioned she was primarily recruited by Lowe before signing with Arizona.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.