Heading into this year’s high school softball season, Murrieta Mesa’s Presleigh Pilon was arguably one of the top-rated players in the 2020 class. Having already committed to Louisiana State University during her high school career, she has all the accomplishments of an All-American, which is why Premier Girls Fastpitch named her one.

Not only does she have lightning-quick hands, Pilon is also a dangerous line-drive hitter who was just a freshman when she helped lead the Lady Rams to a CIF Division III title. This season, before the coronavirus took center stage, the senior middle infielder was once again one of the top hitters in the Southwestern League. Murrieta Mesa was topping the standings at 9-2 and was 1-0 in league before the season got cut short. Presleigh was batting .438 with 14 hits, 3 doubles, 2 triples and a homerun.

Recent Murrieta Mesa graduate, Presleigh Pilon, who will be playing at Louisiana State University next year, was named as an All-American by Premier Girls Fastpitch. Valley News/Andrez Imaging photo

“I was very upset that my senior season got cut short,” Pilon said. “Mesa softball has always been a program we had to work our butts off to prove we could compete with anybody. We all felt like this year was going be our best run yet, and it happened to get cut short. Of course, I’m heartbroken because I didn’t get the opportunity to play but looking on the bright side of things and understanding everything happens for a reason, something really great will come out of this.”

The selection process for the PGF High School All-American Game involved a National Selection Committee comprised of knowledgeable softball people from across the country. OnDeck Softball, Flo Softball and USA Today were chairs this selection process.

“I was having the worst week,” Pilon said. “Quarantine was really getting to me and not being able to play the sport that I love, with every ounce of my being, hit me hard. Then, I received an unexpected call from Mr. Allister (from the selection committee). He informed me I was one of the middle’s chosen for the All-American game. I was so shocked! I truly believe this was a sign for me. This was the little push I needed to light me up inside.”

Pilon will join 20 other Division 1 softball standouts on the West team when they take the field at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine Saturday, Aug. 1, at 4:30 p.m. The West team will be coached by Toni Mascarnenas (four-time PAC-10 Conference Player, USA National Team member, USA Elite team), Lovie Jung (retired Olympic Softball Player and current firefighter/paramedic with the Riverside Fire Department) and ESPN analyst Jennie Finch (three-time All-American pitcher, three-time NFCA First Team, three-time PAC-10 First Team, two-time PAC-10 Pitcher of the Year and two-time Honda Player of the Year award).

Presleigh Pilon, one of the top-rated players in the 2020 high school softball class, will play alongside 40 of the nation’s top Division 1 college recruits at the PFG All-American game Saturday, Aug. 1, at 4:30 p.m. Valley News/Courtesy photo

“I still have something to prove…I’m still hungrier than ever,” Pilon said. “My family really helped me stay motivated during quarantine and honestly my goal is for people to see Jesus’s light shine so bright through me, on and off the field. I’m living my dreams because of him and my family.”

The East Team, also stacked with the country’s top Division 1 recruits, will be coached by Natasha Watley (University of California Los Angeles’ Athletics Hall of Fame, led the Bruins to three straight Women’s College World Series and the NCAA Division 1 Softball Championship title in 2003, 2004 Olympic gold medal, 2008 Olympic silver medal), Crystal Bustos (two-time Olympic gold medalist, holds the world record for home runs during an Olympic series, with six) and Suzy Brazney (19-time ASA All-American, member of three Pan-American Games teams (two gold and one silver) and one Gold medal World Championship).

For more information on the All-American game, or on the Premier Girls Fastpitch League, visit www.premiergirlsfstpitch.com.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.