Sooners Sweep Big 12 Softball Conference Awards

Sooners Sweep Big 12 Softball Conference Awards

NORMAN, OKLA -- Besides winning a fourth consecutive Big 12 softball title, the University of Oklahoma Sooners captured the conference's major awards including Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year. Senior Shelby Pendley won the Player of the Year for the second time in her career while freshman pitcher Paige Parker was co-freshman of the year. Coach Patty Gasso won the Coach of the Year for the eighth time in her career at OU. It is the first time one school won all of the season-end awards.

Senior Pendley was named Big 12 Player of the Year for the second time in her career, joining former Sooner Amber Flores as the only players to win the award more than once. Flores did it in 2009 and 2010, while Pendley was also honored in 2013.

In 16 conference games, Pendley led the league with a .522 batting average and posted league highs in runs (26), home runs (9), total bases (54), on-base percentage (.641) and slugging percentage (1.174). It’s the 10th time an OU player has won Big 12 Player of the Year, done by eight individuals.

Parker is the fourth player ever to win Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and Big 12 Freshman of the Year in the same season, joining the illustrious names of Texas’ Cat Osterman (2002) and Blaire Luna (2010) and Baylor’s Whitney Canion (2009). Parker is the third Sooner to win Pitcher of the Year, joining Lauren Eckermann in 2007 and Keilani Ricketts in 2013. Parker shared the Freshman of the Year honor this year with Kansas’ Daniella Chavez.

A native of Independence, Missouri, Parker was dominant in league play. In 14 appearances in the circle, she posted a league-leading 1.45 earned run average as she struck out 84 in 77.0 innings on her way to an 11-2 record. In conference games, Parker led the league in wins and was second in strikeouts and opponents’ batting average (.167).

Head coach Patty Gasso earned the eighth Big 12 Coach of the Year honor of her career as she guided the Sooners to an unprecedented fourth straight conference crown with a 14-2 record. She has won the award in each of the last four seasons. No other coach in the history of the league has won the honor more than three times.

Parker and Pendley were each named to the All-Big 12 first team, along with senior Lauren Chamberlain and junior Erin Miller. Making the second team were senior Georgia Casey and juniors Whitney Ellis and Kady Self. OU led the Big 12 with seven total all-conference honorees, including a league-high four on the first team.