Parker shakes off soreness, guiding OU to ninth-straight regional title

OU's Paige Parker pitches the ball during the Sooners' game agaisnt Missouri, Sunday, May 20, 2018, at Marita Hynes Field.

Former Oklahoma pitcher Paige Parker is joining the Tulsa softball coaching staff, the school announced Tuesday.

Parker leaves her role as a volunteer assistant coach on Patty Gasso's OU staff. She will serve as the Golden Hurricane's pitching coach.

"I am extremely excited for the opportunity to join the TU family. I am very grateful to be able to work with coach [Crissy] Strimple and coach [Sandra] Owens as we continue to build on the success and tradition of the Tulsa Softball program," said Parker in a release.

"Oklahoma has become a second home to me," the Independence, Missouri, native continued. "I cannot wait to get started this fall, working with our student-athletes in their pursuit of becoming the best person, student and athlete they can be."

Parker enjoyed a decorated playing career with the Sooners. She led OU to back-to-back national championships in 2016 and '17. She earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America selections and the Big 12's Pitcher of the Year award each of her four seasons. She was also a finalist for 2018's USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year.

Parker boasted an .872 career win percentage, racking up 123 victories over 174 appearances and 968 strikeouts over 867.1 innings worked.

She played one year in the National Pro Fastpitch league, winning the 2018 COwles Cup Championship with the USSSA Pride.

"We are thrilled to welcome Paige to our university and softball program. She was an outstanding collegiate player at Oklahoma as well as professionally and throughout this process her tremendous passion for the sport of softball was clear," said Strimple, Tulsa's head coach, in a release. "Our pitching staff has always been a strength of our program and bringing in a coach with Paige's knowledge and game aptitude is the best fit to lead this group of ladies. We are excited to have her work with our pitchers."

Joe Buettner is the Norman Transcript's sports editor. You can contact him at 405-366-3580 or jbuettner@normantranscript.com. Follow him on Twitter, @ByJoeBuettner.

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