May 20, 2022
Photo courtesy of Westfield softball
SHE’S SAFE, Avery Parker (12) slides into home to score another run at their Strike Out Cancer game on April 26th. This game was held to support cancer. They had the first pitch thrown by senior softball player Brookly Miner’s dad, Tim minor. The team bought pink shirts to replace their jerseys and had their families buy shirts to raise money. They raised $2,000 and donated the money for cancer research under Mr. Miner's name.
Breaking the school home run record may seem like a culmination of a successful four-year varsity career but for Avery Parker, it’s only one part of her journey.
Parker started her softball career at 10 years old, so she has been playing for about eight years. She plays catcher, shortstop, and third base, and said her favorite overall is definitely catcher. She started playing softball when she was trying out a bunch of sports at a young age and decided that softball would stick. Parker is committed to Indiana University and can not wait to play, even though she will miss all her friends and time here at Westfield.
“I'm extremely excited to be a part of the team and can't wait to get there,” Parker said. “I am feeling a bit nostalgic but overall I am very thankful for all of the opportunities I have here. I have grown as a person and player throughout my time here.”
She didn't get to this spot with just her natural talent. She works hard every week to get lots of practice in and to make herself better and better every day.
“I lift five days a week, hit in the cages every day, and just try to get good reps in whenever I can,” Parker said.
Even though she is often caught with a positive mentality she sometimes has her days, like everyone, where she gets into a slump and shares how she tries to keep her head up through difficult times.
“I think staying confident when I'm in a slump helps a lot. Everyone goes through it and I know I just have to trust the process,” Parker said. “ I also definitely think the people I have met through it help a lot. I have lots of friendships and relationships I have made through softball.”
She has been playing on varsity all four years of high school and has only great things to say about the experience.
“Varsity has been super fun throughout high school,” Parker said. “The people every year are different, which I think is a positive and negative. I definitely miss playing with a lot of girls who have graduated but I love the girls under me I can influence.”
She says that this season has been one of the best seasons yet and she is super proud of how it is going so far.
“The season is going great,” Parker said. “We had a solid win over Noblesville whom we hadn't beaten in about 15 years. We also have double-digit wins and are currently ranked first in the conference. The team this year is great and I think our chemistry is outstanding. I think everyone being pretty close has led us to a lot of our success thus far this season. I love being with these girls day in and day out.”
Throughout her career, she has had many exciting and fun times but only one is her all-time favorite.
“Breaking the home run record was definitely one of my favorites, but I think just any things we do off of the field is a core memory for me,” Parker said. “I love forming relationships outside of the sport itself which I think makes us better.”
Avery has one last piece of advice to give anyone who wants to be in her position one day.
“Trust the process and if you want it, work for it, '' Parker said. “God-given talent can only take you so far but hard work is what gets you to the next level.”