High schools

Truman pitcher Paige Parker is The Star’s All-Metro softball player of year

Updated: 2014-01-17T02:41:28Z

By SAM MCDOWELL

The Kansas City Star

The scouting report on Truman High School senior Paige Parker is no secret. The tall, left-handed softball player has been a well-known talent since her freshman season with the Patriots.

She’s a four-time all-state selection, a two-time winner of the Missouri Gatorade player of the year award — with a third likely on the way this year — and a prized recruit who will soon join the Oklahoma Sooners.

It makes her somewhat an easy choice as The Star’s All-Metro Missouri softball player of the year. Its the second consecutive season Parker has won the award.

Teams took notice. It’s why she drew 35 walks in only 105 plate appearances.

“It did get frustrating, especially toward the end of the season when I didn’t get anything to hit,” Parker said. “I felt like I couldn’t help my team at the plate.”

She found other ways. There was no avoiding Parker in the pitcher’s circle.

As successful as she was at the plate — she batted .600 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs in 70 at bats — her true dominance came through as a pitcher. And that’s also where her future lies at Oklahoma.

Parker finished her senior season 23-2 with a microscopic 0.25 earned run average. She struck out 342 batters in 166 innings — that’s 59 percent of the hitters she faced — and allowed only 36 hits. She gave up six earned runs all season.

Her coach, Amy Temples, thinks Parker might be the best high school softball player to come through Kansas City. And she might be right.

“I was able to build a lot of confidence, especially toward the end of the season,” Parker said. “We really grew as a team, so that helped me, too, because I knew we trusted each other.”

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