HANCEVILLE ? Wallace State softball sophomores Heather Parker and Lauren Payne were recognized as National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I All-Americans on Thursday, each garnering 2nd-team selections.
Both women helped Wallace State finish third in the nation at the NJCAA Division I national tournament last weekend and led the Lady Lions to the program?s fifth state championship in six seasons, seventh consecutive ACCC Northern Division title and to a 60-12 record.
Parker capped a stellar two-year career by finishing with a 29-7 record and 1.52 ERA this season. The Mortimer Jordan graduate had 32 complete games in 37 starts, tossing 10 shutouts, and striking out 261 hitters in 243 1/3 innings. Offensively, she hit .390 with seven homers and 36 RBIs. She was named ACCC/Region 22 tournament MVP earlier this month after compiling a 5-1 record and nine hits, including a homer, in a three-day span.
Parker, a Lipscomb University commitment, completes her Wallace State career with a 51-14 record and 1.68 ERA. She threw 50 complete games, including 14 shutouts, in 64 starts. Offensively, Parker compiled a .357 career average with 11 homers and 59 RBIs in 308 at bats.
?Heather (Parker) worked extremely hard in the offseason to become more dominant than she was last season on the mound. She leaves as one of the best pitchers and players to put on a Wallace State softball uniform,? said WSCC coach Jayne Clem. ?I?m blown away that she wasn?t chosen as a 1st-team selection.?
At third base, Payne had a break-out season as a sophomore. The Bob Jones graduate hit .373 with seven homers and 46 RBIs after limited action as a freshman. She was tied for the team lead with 76 hits, including 12 doubles.
?Lauren (Payne) had a real strong first half and leveled off a little near the end of the regular season. As any good leader, she picked it up at the national tournament,? Clem said. ?Lauren knew she needed to step up this season and played relaxed the entire way.?
During the 2011-12 academic year, Wallace State athletics had six athletes earn NJCAA All-American recognition.
For more information about the Wallace State athletics, visit wallacestate.edu.