Paige Parker, Truman’s flame-throwing left-hander, set the tone for Missouri early Monday evening in the 2014 Mo-Kan All-Star Softball Series.
The first seven outs recorded by Missouri at the Shawnee Mission District Softball Complex were strikeouts by Parker.
A two-out single by Blue Springs’ Tylin Stephens in the bottom of the second was really all Missouri needed in its 7-1 victory over Kansas in the first game.
Missouri continued to roll in the second game, scoring three runs in the first inning on the way to a 15-5 victory.
“We are out here representing our state and that is really important,” Parker said. “You go into every game with the same mindset no matter if it is a regular season game or an all-star game. You still want to go out and compete and ultimately win the game.”
Kansas might have been a bit stunned by what occurred in the first game.
The only run scratched across by Kansas in the opening game came in the fifth inning when the first two runners reached on an error.
Parker was nearly unhittable. She gave up only three hits and struck out 18.
It was simply a dominant performance by Missouri in the first game. The lead grew to 3-0 in the third inning on an RBI ground out by Parker followed by a home run over the right centerfield fence by Staley’s Sara Harvey.
After the first game, Parker sat in the dugout, soaked up the atmosphere while talking with Truman coach Amy Temples’ daughter.
For Parker and the rest of the players, the best of three Mo-Kan All-Star Softball Series was the last time they represented their high school in athletic competition.
“It is really sad that all of our high school careers are over,” Parker said. “But all of us are going on to play college and that is going to be a ton of fun. It is fun to look ahead to our future. It is fun for us to get together one last time and play for our high schools.”
A player like Parker comes along once in a coaching career, said Temples, who is retiring from coaching softball at Truman after 17 years, three as the head coach and 14 as an assistant.
In the second game, Harvey once again struck with a booming, extra-base hit. Harvey smacked a two-run double for the first runs of the game.
Kansas battled back, scoring one in the second and tying the game 3-3 in the top of the third.
Missouri quickly fought back in the bottom of the third. Bekah Muller’s three-run homer gave Missouri a 7-3 lead.
| David Boyce, Special to The Star