Belle Vernon’s Parshall named Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Year
Bailey Parshall had an outstanding softball season to cap off an outstanding scholastic career.
Parshall was a standout for Belle Vernon both in the pitching circle and at the plate this spring in leading the Leopards to a third WPIAL championship in the last four years.
The left-hander who is already taking classes at Penn State this summer was 20-4 this season with a 0.42 ERA. She struck out a career-high 311 batters and walked 17. She registered 13 shutouts and pitched three no-hitters.
For her efforts, Parshall is the TribLive High School Sports Network’s 2018 Softball Player of the Year.
For her career, she was 76-13 with a 0.79 ERA, including 39 shutouts, six no-hitters and a mind-numbing 984 strikeouts.
At the plate, Parshall hit .418 with three homers and 12 RBIs. In her career, she hit .457 with five home runs and 68 RBIs.
Belle Vernon coach Tom Rodriguez has seen many players in his days as coach, but few compare to Parshall.
“Bailey ranks right up there with the best I have ever seen,” he said. “I may be partial (pun intended) to her because I was her coach, but she undoubtedly is the best all-around player I have ever coached, and she is as good as, and even a little better than, all of the pitchers I have ever played against.”
Belle Vernon captured WPIAL gold in her freshman, junior and senior seasons. The Leopards qualified for the playoffs in her sophomore season in 2016, but the use of an ineligible player in a handful of games cost them four section wins and their postseason berth.
The one thing she did not accomplish in her illustrious career was to help Belle Vernon win a PIAA championship. One of her stated goals was to pitch at Beard Field at Nittany Lions Park where she will play her college ball at Penn State while wearing a green and gold Leopards jersey.
“Her dominance is mainly because of her control, location and movement,” Rodriguez said. “Then, throw in her speed of 63-65 miles per hour. Whew!”
Parshall took time away from the start of her college career to answer some questions:
What one moment sticks out as you look back at the 2018 season?
My favorite memory this past softball season is one that was off the field. In May, our team and school participates in Relay for Life of the Mon-Valley, and this year we had our very own survivor, our assistant coach Dan McFadden. Being able to give him the opportunity to participate and honor him that day was/is my all-time favorite memory throughout my four-year tenure. Although there are many memories that came to mind, this memory has a purpose to not only Coach Dan but to every survivor, caretaker, family members of the cancer patients, and a million more people. Relay for Life has given our team the opportunity to donate to a great cause; this year BVSB raised over $5,000 to help cancer research, and that is my proudest accomplishment.
As the Leopards improved at the plate and in the field as the season went on, were there times you felt the weight of the team’s success was squarely on your shoulders?
Yes, being up against the best teams in the postseason really put a lot of pressure on me as a pitcher and as a senior, knowing it could be my last time on the field with the girls I grew up playing with. As we moved deeper into playoffs, the weight was lifted slightly, but that is better than not at all. Having my team behind me in the field and at the plate not only gave us an advantage in the game, it helped our confidence and motivation into later games.
Before your high school career, where you always the dominant player growing up or did you come into your own these last four years?
When I was in seventh grade, I was throwing consistent and strikes and dominated at that level, so I kept pushing myself on and off the field to improve more. As freshman year approached, I had the opportunity to pitch for the full high school team the fall of my eighth-grade year. That’s when I knew I had something, because I was 13 blowing the ball past kids in high school. From that fall on, I’ve always been pretty dominant on the mound.
Did you play any other sports as a youngster, and when did you focus on softball?
I never wanted to play another sport. It was T-ball when I was 5 and 6, then when I was 7, I started fast pitch. Softball is the only sport I have ever played.
Why did you decide to continue your career at Penn State?
PSU was where most of my maternal family went, so it was always a dream school for me. Also, I love the campus and the atmosphere that it brings with it. Penn State athletics are known across the country, and that was important to me. I also loved the staff and facilities here at PSU, too.
Who are the top five players you played against in your high school career?
Morgan Ryan (Hempfield), she’s an absolute beast and a huge role model to me. Kylee Lingenfelter (Punxsutawney) because she dominated the game each time we played them in states. Oliva Gray (Trinity), also a huge role model, and her attitude and effort on the field amazed me. Delaney Elling (Trinity), my teammate now who I could never not give up a hit against her. Caroline Alinic (Mt. Pleasant), she beat us when it mattered and came out on top.
What are some things you do for fun away from the softball diamond?
I love to go fishing. I do a lot of community service projects and had over 200 hours this past year. I love to give pitching lessons to younger pitchers in Belle Vernon.
Besides taking classes at Penn State, what other things do you have planned for this summer?
I am at PSU now and will be here until Aug. 10 and move back in for fall semester a week later, so I don’t really have much time to do anything fun, just softball of course.
Trib HSSN softball all-stars
Chartiers-Houston, So., SS
The state’s Class AA Player of the Year, Alderson hit .596 during her sophomore campaign, with 34 hits, nine doubles, 11 home runs, 35 RBIs and 28 runs scored. She also had 15 walks, a 1.333 slugging percentage and 0.681 on-base percentage in helping Chartiers-Houston reach the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA tournament.
West Allegheny, Sr., OF
West Allegheny had plenty of heroes who helped the team claim a WPIAL title and finish second in the state. Among them was Goldstrohm, a Point Park recruit who hit .510, with eight doubles, four home runs and six triples. She also scored 41 runs as the team’s leadoff hitter. The all-state selection hit a key home run in a PIAA semifinal win over Thomas Jefferson.
South Park, Jr., SS
A Penn State recruit, Morrison batted .594 (38 for 64), with 38 hits, including 11 doubles, 11 home runs and 36 RBIs. She also had 16 walks and struck out only four times while amassing a 1.281 slugging percentage. The junior was an all-state selection and scored a team-high 42 runs in leading South Park to a WPIAL runner-up finish and spot in the PIAA quarterfinals.
Albert Gallatin, So., SS
One of the WPIAL’s top sluggers, the Pitt recruit batted .456, with 31 hits and 33 RBIs. She had 10 home runs, six doubles and three triples and clouted a 1.073 slugging percentage in an all-state season. She also scored 26 runs in leading the Colonials to the PIAA playoffs.
South Park, Sr., 3B
One of the state’s most productive hitters, the Pitt recruit batted .667, with 40 hits and 51 RBIs. She had 14 home runs, 12 doubles, six triples and two grand slams. South Park’s career home run leader (41) had a 1.766 slugging percentage and was named the state’s Class 3A Player of the Year.
West Greene, Sr., SS
The state’s Class A Player of the Year finished off a decorated career in style, leading West Greene to a third straight WPIAL title and second straight PIAA crown. She hit .551, with 43 hits, 12 doubles, seven home runs and 45 RBIs. For her career, she batted .529, with 163 hits, 199 RBIs and 33 home runs.
Hempfield, Sr., P
Uschock replaced one of the nation’s top pitchers this season in Notre Dame’s Morgan Ryan, and she performed admirably in leading Hempfield to a third straight PIAA title and fourth consecutive WPIAL championship. The Dominican recruit was 21-3 with a 1.10 ERA and 187 strikeouts. She was an all-state selection in Class 6A.
Monessen, Sr., P
The Robert Morris recruit was one of the area’s top pitchers, leading Monessen to a WPIAL runner-up finish and a spot in the PIAA semifinals. She was 17-5, with a 1.11 ERA and 266 strikeouts. She also hit .541 with 11 doubles, four triples and four home runs. The all-state selection also knocked in 24 runs and scored 28 times.
Seton LaSalle, Sr., SS
The Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year, Wagner hit .680 with 34 hits and 39 RBIs. She had 14 home runs, six doubles and four triples and compiled a 1.800 slugging percentage. She scored 42 times in helping Seton LaSalle win the Section 1-2A title and reach the WPIAL quarterfinals. She will continue her career at Oregon.
Bill Hartlep contributed. Don Rebel is a TribLive High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at [email protected].