by Sena Hughes
“She’s a hard worker, she’s determined, she’s competitive,” Brown said of the senior second baseman. “She has a never-say-die attitude.”
As a 4-year-old, Parr begged her parents to put her on a tee-ball team so she could keep up with her older brother who was a baseball player. As she put it, she fell in love with the game and has been playing ever since.
Now a senior leader on the Whitworth softball team, Parr acknowledges she didn’t necessarily see herself several years ago where she is today. Upon applying and being accepted to Whitworth on somewhat of a whim, she was offered the opportunity to play the game she loves.
“I just really liked the mission of the school; it really hit home for me,” Parr said. “The opportunity to get a great education and play the sport I love was an opportunity I couldn’t really pass up.”
Last year as a junior Parr was named to the honorable mention All-Northwest Conference squad. She led the Pirates in total runs scored on the season — an accomplishment she is on track to repeat this year. But Parr is recognized as a leader in more ways that just her play.
“She’s definitely a leader for us,” Brown said. “She’s not as vocal [and] you probably won’t hear Sami when you’re sitting in the stands, [but] the girls look to Sami because she leads by example. If you’re emulating Sami’s work ethic then you’re on the right track.”
Regardless of her individual achievements, Parr says one of her favorite things about playing softball is the teamwork.
“I love being a part of a team,” Parr said. “There’s really no other feeling like that. I love competing and being out on the dirt and leaving it all out there.”
Junior teammate Heather Hesselgesser reiterated Parr’s desire to be a team player.
“Sami leads by example; she is always giving her best effort and makes others want to do better,” Hesselgesser said. “She is a student of the game and understands the ins-and-outs better than any teammate I have ever had.”
After graduation, Parr plans to attend graduate school at Eastern Washington University to earn her doctorate in physical therapy. Until then, she wants to make the most of her final season. Contributing to wins is definitely an ambition, but Parr says her biggest goal right now is to make an impact on her team.
“I would just tell [younger players] to not have any regrets throughout their college career,” Parr said. “It’s going to be over before they know it. Put the extra hours in, don’t take anything for granted, try to make the most of it, practice hard every day.”
Those are the values that Parr has tried to build upon during her collegiate career.
“Sami has been a consistent and vital player every year here at Whitworth,” Hesselgesser said. “She is someone a coach would be proud to have representing their team.”
Brown would agree with that.
“Sami is a huge part of our team,” Brown said. “We’re going to miss her next year with her being a senior. She has the spirit you want to see in all of your athletes so it’s a joy to coach her.”
Contact Sena Hughes at email@example.com.