Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Softball: Parker, Chamberlain Earn Big 12 Honors

In helping No. 4/3 Oklahoma to a 5-0 start and tournament championship at the Oceanic Time Warner Paradise Classic, freshman Paige Parker has been named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week and senior Lauren Chamberlain has been selected as the co-Big 12 Player of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday.

Making her collegiate debut, Parker dominated in the circle as she went 2-0 with a save and did not allow a run in 11.2 innings of work. She struck out 20 batters and walked just one while giving up only two hits. Opponents combined to post a .054 batting average against her.

The highlight of Parker’s weekend came in her second collegiate start as she threw the ninth perfect game in Oklahoma history. Parker struck out a career-high nine batters, seven of which were swinging, and did not allow a single Rainbow Wahine player to reach base in an 8-0, five-inning win over Hawaii in the title game. She needed only 69 pitches to record the first perfect game by a Sooner since Keilani Ricketts did it against Kansas on March 30, 2012.

In her first collegiate start, Parker struck out eight batters in five innings as OU beat Saint Mary’s, 17-0, in five innings. She faced just two batters over the minimum and didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning. Parker picked up the first save of her career in an 11-3, six-inning win over No. 25/RV DePaul. Parker threw the final 1.2 innings and struck out three with one hit and no runs allowed. With OU leading 7-3 in the fifth, DePaul threatened to do more damage as it loaded the bases with just one out. Parker stopped the threat though as she came on in relief and got a foul out and strikeout.

Chamberlain wasted little time showing why she’s one of the most dangerous hitters in college softball. She hit .500 with three home runs, 12 RBI, nine runs scored and nine walks. Her .714 on-base percentage and 1.417 slugging percentage both led the team over the weekend.

Chamberlain homered in her first at-bat of the season against No. 25/RV DePaul and added three walks. She then exploded with a pair of home runs in the win over Saint Mary’s. She hit a three-run homer and later added a grand slam to match her career high with seven runs batted in. It was her 15thcareer multi-home run game. She now has 75 career home runs, putting her 15 away from tying the all-time NCAA Division I record.

MORE: 2015 OU Softball Schedule

Chamberlain also hit a two-run single in a win over Hawaii and added a two-run triple in a rematch against No. 25/RV DePaul.

The honor was the first of Parker’s career, and she becomes the first OU freshman pitcher to win the weekly Big 12 award since Keilani Ricketts on May 4, 2010. For Chamberlain, it was the sixth such honor of her career, though her first since the 2013 season.

The last time the Sooners had multiple players honored by the Big 12 in the same week came on March 11 of last season when Whitney Ellis and Kelsey Stevens were both recognized.

/// SoonerSports PR

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