Truman High School softball coach Amy Temples thinks she has one of the best players to ever come out of the metro area.
By SAM McDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
High praise. But if you witnessed the season that pitcher Paige Parker had for the Patriots, you’d understand. And you might even be inclined to use the same description.
An intimidating junior left-hander, Parker finished the season 26-3 with a 0.41 earned run average over 187 innings. She struck out 383 batters — a Missouri state single-season record.
And that’s just half the story. At the plate, she slugged a pair of home runs, 10 doubles and produced a .450 average while occupying the No. 3 spot in the lineup.
The Patriots rode Parker’s success to their first softball state championship in school history. Parker fired a shutout against Ozark in the Class 4 title game.
She is The Star’s All-Metro Missouri softball player of the year.
“This has just been a dream season,” Parker said. “I couldn’t be happier with how this season went. It couldn’t feel any better.”
What makes Parker so unique, Temples says, it not necessarily any of those statistics or even her standout abilities. Rather, it’s an inability to remain satisfied with any of her accomplishments.
A three-time all-state selection, Parker verbally committed to Oklahoma following her freshman season and won the Gatorade Missouri Softball Player of the Year the next season.
Still, she spent the summer adding a changeup to her pitching arsenal and working to improve her dropball and screwball. The results spoke for themselves. In leading Truman to a 31-3 record, she struck out 54 percent of the batters she faced and limited opponents to a .118 average.
“It would be easy for a player like that to get complacent,” Temples said. “But she understands that she has to keep working and keep getting better.
“The scary thing is she’s only a junior. Wait until next year.”