Page brings a mix of discipline, destruction to batter’s box

April 6, 2017

Taria Page softball

Taria Page

As the cleanup hitter for the Louisiana Tech softball team, Taria Page of Anchorage knows her job is to drive in runs.

But that doesn’t mean swinging for the fences.

Page is a power hitter with patience and a master at reaching base.

The sophomore designated hitter has reached base 11 times in her last 13 plate appearances and ranks No. 2 in Conference USA with a .537 on-base percentage.

“It does take extreme patience to sit back and wait, but if I don’t see my pitch I’m not swinging unless I have two strikes,” she told me.

Page, of East High fame, leads LaTech with a .391 batting average and ranks third in the NCAA D1 conference with 24 walks.

“Although I am a power hitter, I’m also a team player. I trust my hands and that they’ll get the job done but I have just as much faith in my teammate behind me to hit me in,” she said.

“A walk is just as a good as a base hit. You rip a shot up the middle and it goes down as a single, and if you walk you’re in the same place. Only difference is one rattles the pitcher a little more than the other.”

The 6-foot-1 slugger brings a mix of discipline and destruction to the batter’s box.

She leads the team with a .696 slugging percentage and 33 RBIs in 34 games.

“I don’t look to smash the ball over the fence. I look to drive whoever is on base in,” Page said. “I’ve probably been intentionally walked like three times, but in many different occasions I have been pitched around. They don’t look to walk me, but they’d rather give up a walk than a hit to someone with power like me.”

Twelve of her 27 hits have gone for extra bases – 4 home runs, 1 triple, 7 doubles.

“My dad always told me to never be afraid to swing the bat,” she said. “I know that if I fail that I’ll be OK the next at-bat and be able to get the job done.”