Athlete of the week: Hamilton Southeastern softball player possesses a powerful bat


Hamilton Southeastern High School senior third baseman Payton Fox credits her power surge to weight-lifting classes.

“In the beginning of my junior year, I would hit a lot of doubles that would one-hop the fence,” she said. “Now, I feel all those doubles from last year are just going out. So, getting stronger helped me a lot.”

Through May 8, Fox was hitting .492 with nine homers and 36 runs batted in for the Royals  (14-5).

Hamilton Southeastern High School senior third baseman Payton Fox will play for Ball State University next season. (Photo courtesy of Payton Fox)

“She’s definitely a contact hitter, but she has some power,” Royals coach David Cook said.

This is Fox’s second year as a starter. She hit .427 with eight homers and 32 RBIs as a junior. She saw some action as a sophomore.

“She works at the game,” Cook said. “She works hard in the weight room. She is a smart kid. She just does all the right things. We’ve moved her over to shortstop a couple of times when we’ve had to pinch-hit.”

Cook said Fox, who will play softball for Ball State University next season, is well suited to play third base.

“She has a strong arm, (is) hard-nosed and tough,” Cook said. “She’s not afraid of it because that’s part of the battle there. It’s a tough place to play.”

Fox said she tends to lead more by example than being vocal but has worked on being more vocal.

“I was put in the Student Athletic Council at my school and that’s really helped me a lot,” Fox said. “We talk a lot about leadership in there, and you have to lead by more than example and you have to hold people accountable. I feel like I’ve been trying to work more on that. Being seen as a leader has made me more of one.”

This is her second year on the Student Athletic Council.

After losing in the sectional the past two seasons, Fox said the team goal is to win a sectional title.

“We have a lot of returning starters and we’ve grown a lot closer as a team, and that helps,” she said. “Last year, it took us (some time) to get that team chemistry, and this year we’re coming in with that team chemistry that we left off with.”

Fox started playing softball at age 7.

“I did dance and gymnastics when I was really little and I did soccer, too,” said Fox, who plans to major in architecture at Ball State. “I played basketball from fifth to eighth grade. I realized in high school I was playing basketball for my friends, but I was playing softball because I love the sport.”

Favorite athlete: Michael Jordan

Favorite subject: Math

Favorite movie: “Pitch Perfect”

Favorite musician: Giveon