The accolades keep piling up for Payson High graduate Arianna Paulson.
The three-time all-state honoree added the Division 3 All-State Player of the Year honor to her resumé.
Coaches selected her for the honor in voting at aia365.com.
Her sister, Arissa, a sophomore, joined her on the Div. 3 All-State First Team. See the June 3 Roundup for that story.
Ari, as she’s known, led the Longhorns to the state semifinals twice and the state championship
game this season. The class salutatorian will continue her career at Brigham Young University.
She was selected to play in the Division 3-4 Senior All-Star Game but wasn’t able to because of her involvement with her club softball team.
Both Paulson sisters made the Arizona Republic’s Division 3 All-State First Team, Ari at pitcher and Arissa at utility.
Ari led PHS to the best three seasons in program history. The Longhorns set a school record for wins in her sophomore season, going 28-4 and reaching the Division 3 state semifinals. They went 29-5 last year and returned to the semis. This year, PHS finished 29-9 in reaching the championship game for the first time in program history. Her pitching was the key to the Longhorns’ 86-18 record the past three years.
“That record basically has to do with her pitching,” said Longhorns head coach Kadi Tenney.
“She brought our program to a level that it’s never been.”
Ari went 16-3 this season with a 1.18 earned run average and 218 strikeouts in 112 2/3 innings.
“She throws six great pitches,” Tenney said. “When she hits her locations she’s hard to beat.
She also excelled at the plate; batting .547 with six home runs, 26 doubles, two triples and 35 RBIs from the lead-off spot this spring.