Berger has fast start to college career

Paul Barney and Paul Barney

She has eight home runs.

She leads the Falcons in seven offensive categories, including batting average (.340), slugging percentage (.849), RBIs (18), hits (18), runs (12) and total bases (45).

She was just named the Mid-American Conference Player of the Week.

Yes, Paige Berger can do some amazing things on a softball field.

And what’s scary is that she is just a freshman.

In her first year on the BG softball team, Berger is playing beyond her years and, ultimately, putting on quite a show.

She is well on the pace to shatter the BG single-season home run record of 11 — held by current assistant coach Hayley Wiemer, who smashed 11 long balls in both the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

Berger connected on her eighth home run of the season on Sunday as the Falcons completed their sweep over Toledo.

Berger had three hits, four RBIs and scored two runs in the two-game series.

Not bad for her first taste of the battle of I-75.

Fresh off her Record Courier Athlete of the Year award in 2009, Berger’s success on the field has helped pace the Falcons to an 8-12 overall record and a 4-2 mark in the MAC.

Though BG remains four games under .500, its eight wins is just five behind their 2009 total.

The Falcons struggled to a 13-33 record last season, and it wasn’t until their 30th game of the season that they notched win No. 8.

BG’s eight wins to date is 10 games ahead of the pace a year ago, and with 20 regular season games remaining, there is no telling where the Falcons will end up on the wins list come season’s end.

And with 20 games left in the regular season, not including the postseason, there’s no telling where Berger will end up on the offensive side of the ball.

She has the ability to ink her name into the record books by season’s end as just a freshman, and I don’t think the question is will it happen, but rather when will it happen.

Quite frankly, it shouldn’t come as a shock.

Berger was a four-year letter winner at Rootstown High School and was named her team’s Most Valuable Player in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

She was First-Team All-Northeastern District in each of those years, and was First-Team All State in 2007 as well as Second-Team All-State in 2006 and 2009.

Berger has put together one of the finest first halves from a first-year player in the history of BG softball, and she still has another half to go.

And if Berger has as good a second half as she did a first half, she could very well find herself on the All-MAC First-Team, as well as be named the MAC Freshman of the Year.