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The City Journals

Pearson catches on at Boise State

May 08, 2018 12:45PM ● By Greg James

Boise St. senior ShaeLee Pearson has started 11 games at catcher for the Broncos. (Photo courtesy of Boise State photo services)

By Greg James |  [email protected]          

It’s a dream come true for a Taylorsville young lady. At 10 years old, ShaeLee Pearson decided that she wanted to play college softball. This spring when she graduates, she can say she did it.

“I started playing when I was 7 years old,” Pearson said. “I always wanted to play in college. I played rec league for a few years, and then when I was 13, I moved to an accelerated team.”

She pitched, caught and played third base in her early years learning the game. At Taylorsville, she played mostly third base for the Warriors. After her high school graduation, she signed to continue toward her goal at Boise State University. 

“At Boise State, I have played catcher a lot and some second base,” Pearson said. “I am so glad I came here. I have grown a lot as a person and learned a lot. My teammates are also awesome.” 

She has been a four year starter at Boise State. This season she has a .259 batting average and has hit three homeruns. As a junior, she appeared in 50 games, hit .273 and had two home runs. 

She chose Boise State because it was away from home yet still close.

“It was a perfect distance for me from home,” said Pearson, who is studying business and will graduate this spring. “I did not want to stay in Utah for college. I also like how we still have four seasons, and it is not hot like Arizona.”

She plans to move to Lincoln City, Oregon, after graduation.

“I will always remember the seniors that were here when I first came,” Pearson said. “I had a hard time at first because I was so homesick. They helped me get through it. Makenzie Sullivan is the only senior that started with me, and we are finishing up together.”

According the National Federation of High Schools, 2 percent of all high school athletes continue on to play college sports. Only 43 percent of college athletes graduate in five years. In this year's NCAA college basketball tournament, there was one team (Cal-State Northridge) that none of their players are on track to graduate in their playing window.

“I just look back and think keep going,” she said. “Do it for that little girl that had the dream all of those years ago. Push through the hard times. My advice is to dream big; you can accomplish anything.”

She is the daughter of Jeri and Dan Pearson and has an older brother, Zach.

Pearson graduated in 2014 from Taylorsville High School. Her former teammate, Karlee Jensen, is graduating from Louisiana Tech this spring also.

“We played together; I was at third base, and she was at shortstop,” Pearson said. “We always said left side, strong side (third base and shortstop are on the left side of the field). We have a special bond.”

At Taylorsville, she was selected All-State twice and led the team in batting average all three years. 

“Boise State has been great,” Pearson said. “We are a community-based team. I have loved playing the game here.”