THE WINNER: Paige Parker
School: Truman (Independence, Mo.)
Athletic achievement: She led the Patriots (31-3) to the Class 4 state championship this past season. The state’s Gatorade Softball Player of the Year as a freshman, Parker posted a 26-3 record with a 0.41 ERA in the circle in 2013, striking out 383 batters in 186.2 innings pitched. She also batted .450 with two home runs, 25 RBI and 34 runs scored. Parker was named the Kansas City Star All-Metro Player of the Year and is a three-time First Team All-State honoree.
Academic excellence: Parker has maintained a 4.07 GPA.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of a literacy-outreach initiative and youth softball programs.
“Parker is the best pitcher we’ve ever seen,” said Jairus Tapp, head coach at Staley (Kansas City, Mo.). “She’s a very talented player, as well as a fierce competitor and a wonderful teammate. She understands the game, and it’s very evident how hard she works.”
THE FUTURE: Parker will be a senior next year.