Oklahoma sophomore pitcher Paige Parker has been chosen as one of 25 finalists for the 2016 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, the Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball announced Wednesday.
Now in its 15th 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.
The reigning National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Freshman of the Year, Parker has been brilliant in her sophomore campaign.
She holds an 18-3 record this season with a 1.62 earned run average in 125.0 innings. She’s struck out 142 and walked just 34 while throwing eight shutouts. The Independence, Mo., native has also thrown 14 complete games in 19 starts and is holding opponents to a .185 batting average.
Parker has also contributed at the plate, albeit in limited action. She’s hitting .308 with three runs scored, a home run and three runs batted in. Parker is slugging .423 and getting on base at a .486 clip.
Through Sunday’s game, Parker led the Big 12 in both shutouts and wins, ranking third and 10th nationally in those categories, respectively.
Among her highlights this season include a no-hitter with 11 strikeouts against BYU on March 11, a two-hit shutout over then-No. 6 Alabama on March 19, a season-high 12 strikeouts against Kansas on April 3 and back-to-back shutouts at then-No. 19 Baylorlast weekend. For her efforts against the Lady Bears, Parker was named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week, the ESPNW National Player of the Week and the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week.
The top 10 finalists will be released on May 11, while the top three finalists will be announced May 25. The winner of the 2016 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be revealed on May 31 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.