NORMAN – Junior Paige Parker has been named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season and 14th time in her career, the league announced Tuesday.
With 14 honors in her career, Parker passed former Texas pitcher Blaire Luna (13) for sole possession of third place in league history. Only Texas' Cat Osterman (25) and former Sooner Keilani Ricketts (16) have more. Parker won Big 12 Pitcher of the Week seven times as a freshman and five last year as a sophomore.
Parker picked up two wins in the Sooners’ three-game sweep at Kansas last weekend.
She set the tone in the series opener, striking out a career-high 15 batters in a 4-1 win. Parker’s 15 strikeouts were two better than her previous high of 13, which she had reached twice, including once earlier this year against Arizona on March 14. The total was also the highest by an OU pitcher since Keilani Ricketts registered 17 strikeouts at Kansas on April 5, 2013. Parker struck out every starter at least once.
Parker gave up one unearned run on 98 pitches, allowing three hits with no walks to improve to 14-5 on the season. After yielding a one-out double in the first, she retired the next 17 batters she faced, including seven straight strikeouts from the end of the first inning through the third.
Parker actually recorded four strikeouts in the seventh inning, though leadoff batter Erin McGinley was able to reach on a passed ball and come around to score after she stole second base and Becki Monaghan hit an RBI single. Kansas brought tying run to the plate in the seventh as Monaghan’s single put two on with two out, but Parker fanned pinch hitter Jennifer Marwitz on three pitches to end the game.
She entered in relief Friday to get the win in a 16-7, run-rule victory. Parker struck out two but gave up a pair of home runs, a solo homer and three-run shot, in 2.2 innings of work.
On the season, she is 15-5 with a 1.76 ERA in 123.0 innings. She’s struck out 159 batters against just 20 walks, has thrown two shutouts, recorded two saves and has held opponents to a batting average of .175.
A finalist for the USA Softball Player of the Year Award, Parker leads the Big 12 in strikeouts, strikeouts per seven innings (9.0) and walks allowed per seven innings (1.14).