This is the kind of game that Truman head coach Amy Temples has come to expect from senior pitcher Paige Parker.
By KATHLEEN GIER
Special to The Star
It’s also the kind of game that could help the Patriots win a second straight state title.
Parker pitched a nine-inning no-hitter with 18 strikeouts and led Truman High School to a 2-0 extra-inning victory against Staley on Wednesday night in the Class 4 District 15 softball sectional. The Patriots improved to 28-3 and advanced to the Missouri Class 4 state quarterfinals, where they will face Lee’s Summit on Saturday.
“She is incredible,” Temples said. “She can always keep us in games. She walks very few batters. She just did what she normally does. She didn’t get any shots at the plate, so she knew that defensively that she was going to have to work it from the mound and she came through tonight effortlessly.”
Parker, who has already committed to play at Oklahoma next year, was dominant from the start, retiring the first 11 batters before giving up a fourth-inning walk to Sara Harvey.
She also gave up a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth but ended up facing just two more batters than the minimum.
“My rise-ball was working really well and so was my change-up,” Parker said. “I just try to throw strikes and I know my defense will be there to back me up. I just try to focus on going after batters.”
Staley pitcher Payton Herman kept the Patriots at bay with seven scoreless innings despite facing runners in scoring position in three separate innings.
Truman finally got its break when Herman gave up a leadoff single to junior shortstop Brooke Vuncannon in the bottom of the eighth, and then senior catcher Maya Coen put the Patriots on the board with an RBI double to left field.
“I have been struggling all year, but being able to do that for my team is a great feeling,” Coen said.
Originally, it wasn’t even supposed to be a base hit. Coen, who was zero for two with a walk before the hit, got a bunt signal from Temples but elected to swing away.
“It was kind of an ‘oopsie’ hi, but also one of those things where I’m glad that oopsie hit happened,” Coen said.
Herman exited after Coen’s hit and was replaced by junior Kinsey Kiser who gave up an RBI double to senior second baseman Sara Jeffress. Staley finished the season 21-6 with the loss.