MCCC Softball Sophomore Paige Metz Honored at National Girls and Women in Sports Day


South Orange, N.J. – Paige Metz is ready to leave her mark on the sports world. 

On Saturday, Feb. 8, the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) sophomore got a chance to build her legacy when she was honored as part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) at Seton Hall University. 

Metz was shocked when she found out she would be recognized. Earlier in the week, she went to work out with MCCC Athletics Director John Simone when he broke the news of her inclusion in the ceremony. 

“Mr. Simone is always available if we want to get some hits in before practice starts,” Metz said. “I had no idea that he was going to tell me I won an award.” 

Now in its 34th year, NGWSD recognizes female athletes from colleges and universities in New Jersey for their contributions to athletics. The day included a luncheon, photo opportunities and an invitation to Seton Hall’s women’s basketball game, where the award winners were acknowledged at halftime. 

“The luncheon opened my eyes to how much of a role model I can be,” Metz said. “So many other women and athletes are passing down their knowledge to the next generation. I want to be one of them.” 

Originally from Neshaminy, Pa., Metz was a multi-sport athlete for most of her life. Through middle school she played basketball, soccer and softball, regularly racing to get from practice to practice or game to game. 

“I think I hold a world record for eating a Wawa hoagie in the car,” she said. 

Though she maintains her love for basketball and soccer, playing softball won out. Metz stopped playing soccer when her eighth grade team disbanded. She passed on basketball after the 10th grade. 

Focusing on one sport didn’t make her life any less hectic. At Neshaminy High School, Metz partook in Bucks County Community College’s dual enrollment program to earn credits toward her college degree. Her day consisted of three periods at Neshaminy and classes at Bucks, before returning to Neshaminy for eighth period and softball.  

Metz called it the best of both worlds, being able to earn college credit while playing for her high school softball team. She ended the program with 12 credits and a startling realization: attending a four year school wasn’t worth it.

Though her dad urged her to attend community college all her life, Metz hadn’t considered it until her coach, Dave Chichilitti, said he could help her attend Mercer to play softball.

“I thought, why pay thousands and thousands of dollars to attend a four-year school, when I could go to Mercer on a scholarship while saving money for when I transfer?” Metz said.

Now, just weeks out from MCCC’s softball opening day, Metz is glad she made the leap from Bucks to Mercer.

“I could have gone to Bucks, and I would have known so many people from my high school there,” Metz said. “But I love being at Mercer. I’ve come to enjoy the idea of still being at home in Neshaminy, while getting to meet new people at Mercer.”

Equally as exciting as the money she’s saved by attending Mercer is the prospect of etching her name in Mercer’s record books. Entering the 2020 softball season, Metz is two hits shy of the halfway mark for hits in a two-year career.

The current record holder is Alyssa Bauer, who played for a pair of Mercer teams that went 59-27. Metz believed she’d be closer to the record if not for narrowly missing the playoffs in 2019, which limited her chances at bat.

“This year we are better, talent-wise,” Metz said. “We can go deeper in our lineups and have more options and flexibility. I’m really excited. Coming from last year, we have so much more to give, so much more to fight for.”

Metz is driven to establish her personal legacy, but she has also started the process of giving back to the next generation of players. Metz volunteers as a coach for a 14-and-under team in her hometown Neshaminy.

“It’s fun,” Metz said. At 20 years old, Metz is closer in age to the players than their other coaches. “I realize I’m someone they can look up to. I can be a bit more relatable to them, while still helping them build their fundamentals.”

Still, her altruism does not soften her record hunting. She has considered transferring to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, an NCAA Division II program that came into existence in 2015.

“The Pitt Johnstown program is brand new,” Metz said, hinting at their relatively empty record books. “It’s an up and coming team where I’d be able to leave my mark.”

Off the field, Metz is just as forward thinking. At Mercer, she majors in Math, a subject she chose for both her natural aptitude for it, and for the career flexibility it will afford her.

“I’ve always been good at math, ever since elementary school,” Metz said. “So many jobs use math. I don’t want to limit myself and be stuck working in a cubicle my whole life. Math opens the door to a world of opportunities.”

The opportunity highest on her list? Becoming an analyst for the Philadelphia Phillies.

“Professor [Framarz] Khoushab opened my eyes to mathematical economics,” Metz said, noting that he helped her understand how she could apply math to other fields.

Big dreams aside, Metz is taking things day by day. She didn’t know she would find a home away from home at Mercer any more than she knew she would be recognized for NGWSD.

“Everything happens for a reason.”

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Paige Metz At Bat During Preseason

 Paige Metz steps up to the plate during an MCCC fall season softball game.

Paige Metz Outfield

Metz led the Lady Vikings with 36 RBI through the 2019 season.