The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

May 9, 2013

Jon Gerardi's high school softball column: Warrior Run's Parker joins good company

When it was all said and done and Warrior Run's Laura Harris recorded her final strikeout in 2001, Taylor Parker's softball career was just in its infancy.

Parker remembers her dad and brother playing baseball in her backyard way back then and she wanted to play with them. That's when her dad gave her a baseball glove and well, as they say, the rest is history.

She was into ballet, gymnastics and even cheerleading before she put on that baseball mitt in 2000 as a 5-year-old. Fast forward then 10 years later when Parker became a freshman at Warrior Run.

The soft-spoken Defender had years of softball under her belt by that point: Little League, Amateur Softball Association, traveling ball. You name it, she played it.

So her talent was starting to take shape and develop as she became a freshman and it was around that time that Parker first became aware of just who Harris was.

That's where the two pitchers' stories intertwine.

"When I started playing high school softball, people were comparing me to her and I found how good she was," Parker said. "Her last year was in 2001 and that was my first year of tee-ball softball. She holds the all-time strikeout record in a single season (with) 352 strikeouts. That's amazing! So it's an honor to be compared to her."

Parker may have been a bit surprised as her career started to be compared with one of the Defenders' best all-time pitchers. After all, Harris struck out 791 batters in her illustrious career, a mark many thought would be tough for anyone to make a run at.

But it didn't take long for Parker to cement her place in history in Turbotville and show everyone she was definitely deserving of those early comparisons to Harris.

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