It’s been a hell of a June for University of Oklahoma ace Paige Parker.
The junior finished the softball season with an ERA of 1.43 and 262 strikeouts in 210.1 innings, and helped guide the Sooners to victory in the Women’s College World Series.
Soon after, the Independence, Missouri, native threw out the first pitch at a Kansas City Royals game, which she seemed pretty stoked about—her house is about 15 minutes from Kauffman Stadium.
Brb, crying pic.twitter.com/sSLYYEv45l
— Paige Parker (@paigeparker008) June 21, 2017
“I was kind of shocked because I would’ve never imagined that I’d have the opportunity to get to do that,” she said of being invited to throw out the ceremonial pitch. “I really feel like I didn’t even blink an eye before I said yes just because I was so excited.”
Before the main event, she warmed up with Royals backup catcher Drew Butera. After some soft tosses, the catcher and his teammates wanted to see what she could really do from 43 feet away.
Butera was not ready for the first fastball—Parker’s heater knocked him over and back into the protective netting behind him.
“Delete that video right now,” a laughing Butera said to whoever was filming.
Parker then showed off some of her other pitches, like a wicked curveball and a rising fastball.
— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) June 27, 2017
Once on the actual mound for the opening pitch, she fired a strike.
“It was surreal,” Parker said of the night. “I think it’s like a childhood dream come true to get to meet the players. I don’t think I could’ve ever thought of any of that in my wildest dreams to get to interact with them that much.”