« Softball 2018

Paige Parker

School

University of Oklahoma

Position
Pitcher
Major
Arts and Sciences Planned Program - BA option

Classroom

Paige Parker has done as well in the classroom as she has on the diamond. She was named to 2016 and 2017 Academic All-Big 12 Softball Team and received special recognition for recording a 4.00 GPA for the award period. As a freshman, she earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Academic Rookie Team and earned special recognition for her 4.00 GPA. In 2016 and 2017 she earned CoSIDA Academic All-District first-team honors, and she was a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2016 as a sophomore. Parker is a three-time NFCA/Easton Scholar Athlete Awards recipient, has been named to the OU President’s Honor Roll (4.00 GPA) four times in her OU career and was named to the Dean’s Honor Roll (3.50-3.99 GPA) twice. Additionally, she has been named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll seven times and is a seven-time Sooner Scholar.

In the spring of 2015, she was named a Jay Myers winner by the OU Athletics Council recognizing true freshman student-athletes who best combine excellence in scholarship and potential excellence in their chosen field of athletic endeavor. In 2016 and 2017, Parker also was named the Dan Gibbens Outstanding Scholar-Athlete of the Year, which is given by the OU Athletics Council to the student-athletes who have attained the highest level of scholarly and athletic success in the prior calendar year.

Character

Since her arrival on the Norman campus, Parker has been a team leader. That rarely happens with freshman, but Parker is a rarity. As a true freshman, she started all 58 games for the Sooners. When a player starts 58 games (32 as the pitcher and 26 as the DP), teammates look to that player for leadership, even if she is a freshman. Whenever the Sooners have called for her, Parker has answered the call.

Being a player who is one of the most recognized names in collegiate softball yet is also one of the most humble on the team is another piece of Parker’s character. She has kept her smile, even when times were tough by her standards, and she has handled all the demands on a top Division-I student-athlete with a quick smile and outgoing personality. She is a popular autograph, and she hates when time doesn’t allow her to interact with the Sooner fans, regardless of their ages. According to her coaches, she does the right thing all the time. She has a solid moral compass and takes care of her business in a solid, step-by-step way. With all of these things, she also is a quiet leader, letting her actions on the field and in the classroom help show her teammates what it means to be a Sooner.

Community

With her academic and competition accomplishments, one would ask when Parker has time to serve in her community. The answer would be quite often, both with her teammates and individually. She and her team have volunteered at OK Kids Corral and Rivermont Senior Center, and they participated in the jog-a-thon at Washington Elementary School. The Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City has been a place the Sooners have gone often as a team, and Parker has gone on her own more than any other Sooner. The team, with her in the lead, has done multiple clinics for children and youth. (When you are part of a back-to-back national champions, everyone wants to learn how to play as a winner.)

Competition

By the time her career ends, Parker will figure prominently in the school, Big 12 and NCAA record books for pitching. She entered her senior campaign with a 92-15 record (.860 winning percentage), and year-by-year, her record was 28-7, 38-3 and 26-5. Parker has never had an ERA above 1.65 in a season and has a career mark of 1.58. She is a three-time NFCA All-American, (first-team in 2016, second in 2015 and 2017). She was the Most Outstanding Player for the 2016 WCWS and was named to the All-Tournament Team in 2016 and 2017. She finished the last two seasons as a top candidate for the USA Softball Player of the Year and is on the 2018 Players to Watch list.

Named first-team All-Region in 2015, 2016 and 2017, Parker made an immediate impact as the 2015 NFCA Freshman of the Year. She was named 2015 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honors in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Following the 2017 Big 12 Championship, she was named Most Outstanding Player and placed on the All-Tournament Team. She is a two-time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week and NFCA National Pitcher of the Week and is a 16-time Big 12 Pitcher of the Week. As of nomination time, she was second in OU history for win percentage and ranked in the top 10 in 11 other categories.