Oklahoma junior pitcher Paige Parker has been chosen as one of 25 finalists for the 2017 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, the Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball announced Wednesday.
Now in its 16th year, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, given by the national governing body for softball in the United States, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. It is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women’s collegiate softball.
Already a two-time All-American and a top-25 finalist for the award a year ago, Parker has continued her stellar career in her third season in Norman.
She holds a 13-5 record this year with two saves and a 1.67 earned run average in 113.1 innings. She’s struck out 142 and walked just 19 while throwing a pair of shutouts. The Independence, Mo., native has also thrown 10 complete games in 16 starts and is holding opponents to a .173 batting average.
Parker has also contributed at the plate, albeit in limited action. She’s hitting .333 with one run scored, a double, two runs batted in and seven walks. Parker is slugging .389 and getting on base at a .520 clip.
Through Sunday’s games, Parker led the Big 12 in strikeouts and walks per seven innings pitched (1.17) and was second in complete games, wins and strikeouts per seven innings (8.8).
She was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week this year on March 14 after going 2-0 and giving up just one earned run in 15.1 innings of work for a 0.46 earned run average. She threw two complete games, including a 10-inning shutout over Tulsa, and allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out 14 and holding opponents to an .082 average.
Parker has four games this year with at least 10 strikeouts, including a 13-strikeout performance against Arizona on March 14 that equaled a career high. She also had 11 strikeouts at Wichita State on March 1 and a one-hit shutout with 11 more strikeouts two days later vs. Northwestern State.
The top 10 finalists will be released on May 10, while the top three finalists will be announced May 24. The winner of the 2017 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be revealed on May 30 prior to the start of the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is voted on by coaching representatives of 10 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA/USA Softball Regions, members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country as well as past winners of the award.