Oklahoma softball pitcher Paige Parker is the Big 12 Female Sportsperson of the Year for 2017-18.
In four sensational seasons at Oklahoma, Parker won 123 games and lost just 18 times. The ace left-hander achieved All-America status in all four years, only the third Sooner to accomplish that feat four times.
Parker also was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Year four consecutive years. She is only the second Big 12 pitcher to do that.
Dalton Risner, an offensive tackle on the Kansas State football team, was named the Big 12 Male Sportsperson of the Year.
All four years she was at Oklahoma, Parker posted an earned-run average below 1.70 and did not allow opponents’ a batting average above .200. This past season was the best of her college career. In 2018, the senior from Independence, Mo., led the Big 12 with an ERA of 0.82, and opponents hit just .155 collectively off her in 41 appearances, including 35 starts.
Parker will go down as one of the greatest pitchers in Oklahoma softball history, and that’s saying something because the Sooners have had some great ones over the years. She not only was the best player on the OU softball squad this season, but arguably the most accomplished athlete in all of the Oklahoma athletic programs in 2017-18.
In addition to excelling in softball, Parker also was a standout in the classroom. She is a three-time CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors) Academic All-American and Academic All-Big 12 selection.
Parker is the ninth Oklahoma student-athlete to be named Big Sportsperson of the Year since the award was introduced in 2000-01. In 2008-09 and again last year (2016-17), Oklahoma athletes swept the male and female awards (Ashley Paris and Blake Griffin in 2008-09 and Bryce Perry and Samaje Perine in 2016-17).
The Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year recognizes student-athletes (male and female) who display an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship, community service and academic achievement.