OU Softball: Paige Parker Earns Conference, National Awards
NORMAN, Oklahoma - In helping No. 12/9 Oklahoma softball to a 4-0 record last week, sophomore pitcher Paige Parker has been named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week, the ESPNW National Player of the Week and the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week.
Parker earned all four wins last week for No. 12/9 Oklahoma, including a three-game sweep at then-No. 19/18 Baylor to put the Sooners in first place in the Big 12. It was the first time Baylor had been swept in a three-game series at home since the sport was reintroduced in 1996 at the school.
For the week, she threw three complete games in four starts with a 0.81 earned run average as she gave up just three earned runs in 26.0 innings. Parker struck out 19 and walked six while opponents hit just .234 off her.
This is the second time in her career that Parker has been named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week, also earning the honor for the week of April 6 last year. She joins former Sooner Keilani Ricketts as the only players in program history to win the award more than once.
Parker now has three Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors this season, previously winning on March 15 and Feb. 23. It was also the 10th such honor of her career, putting her alone in fifth place all-time in league annals behind Texas' Cat Osterman (25), Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts (16), Texas' Blaire Luna (13) and Missouri's Chelsea Thomas (12).
A native of Independence, Mo., Parker began the week with 4.0 shutout innings against Wichita State as she struck out four and walked one.
Baylor had been shut out just once entering the weekend, but Parker did it in consecutive games. In the series opener, she struck out five and walked three in tossing her seventh shutout of the year. The Bears had scoring opportunities in the second and third innings, stranding a runner on third in the former and runners on the corners in the latter. Parker ended both frames with a strikeout. Baylor’s Kyla Walker and Shelby Friudenberg combined to go 4-7 (.571), but the rest of the team was just 1-17 (.059) against Parker.
Parker was flat-out dominant for OU Saturday, throwing a career-high 8.0 innings to record her eighth shutout of the season. She now has 17 in her career, tying her for ninth in OU history despite being only a sophomore. She struck out six and gave up just four hits with no walks. Baylor was shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since the second and third games of the 2013 season. The Lady Bears didn’t get a runner past first base, and after a leadoff single by Caitlin Charlton in the fifth, Parker retired the final 12 batters she faced.
Entering Sunday's game with a 28.0 inning scoreless streak, Parker tacked on 2.1 more frames before Baylor ended the streak at a career-high 30.1 innings dating back to Friday night against Kansas. It was her seventh career streak of at least 20.0 scoreless innings. Parker is now 17-3 on the season as she gave up four runs (three earned) with two walks and 11 hits allowed. She also struck out four to earn a win in her ninth consecutive start as the Sooners won 7-4.
On the season, Parker is 17-3 with a 1.66 ERA in 122.0 innings. She’s struck out 136 batters against just 33 walks, has thrown eight shutouts and has held opponents to a batting average of .187.