Parker Wins Big 12 Pitcher of the Week
NORMAN – Freshman Paige Parker continued her impressive debut season by winning her third consecutive, and fourth overall, Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honor this year, the conference announced Tuesday.
No. 6 Oklahoma went 2-2 last week, with both losses coming at No. 1 LSU, but Parker did all she could for OU during the week. She went 2-1 with a 1.70 earned run average and 25 strikeouts in 24.2 innings of work.
Parker started the week with an 8-2 win at Wichita State where she gave up nine hits and two runs but struck out eight and walked only one. Parker then got the start at No. 1 LSU and more than held her own in a 1-0 setback. She struck out eight and allowed one run on two hits and four walks. Parker had a pair of 1-2-3 innings in the game, doing so in the third and fifth innings. She held the Tigers to their lowest run total of the season and limited LSU to a team batting average of .100 (2-20) after it entered with a team average of .372.
After a relief effort of 4.2 innings in a loss against LSU again on Saturday, Parker threw her team-leading sixth shutout of the year against McNeese State on Sunday. She struck out five and allowed just two hits with two walks. She had four 1-2-3 innings during the game, doing so in the first, second, fourth and sixth innings. Both hits Parker allowed came in the third inning.
With her fourth award of the season, Parker has found herself in elite company.
The last pitcher to win at least four Big 12 Pitcher of the Week awards in one season was former Sooner Keilani Ricketts and former Texas pitcher Blaire Luna in 2013 when they won five and four, respectively. Ricketts was also the last pitcher in the league to win three straight honors like Parker, doing so from March 20 – April 3 in 2012.
Parker becomes just the fourth freshman in league history to win four weekly honors in one season, joining Texas' Cat Osterman (7 in 2002), Baylor's Whitney Canion (4 in 2009) and Texas' Blaire Luna (4 in 2010). Parker also matched Osterman and Canion as the only freshmen to win three straight Big 12 Pitcher of the Week awards.
This season, Parker has an 11-3 record and a 1.60 ERA with 94 strikeouts and 23 walks in 91.2 innings. She has appeared in 19 games with 14 starts, throwing 11 complete games, six solo shutouts and helping on three other shutouts. Opponents are batting just .183 off of Parker this season, and she has two saves.
This season, OU has had four student-athletes win nine Big 12 weekly awards. The only other school with multiple awards this year is Kansas, which has three.