The recent controversy about the Women’s College World Series with Paige Parker not pitching game 2 has really surprised me with the reactions I’ve seen on social media. The biggest complaint that I have is the attitude that many young players have towards it.
“Have you ever played a ton of games in one day?”
“Talk to me when you’ve pitched multiple softball games.”
If you’ve played any sports in your lifetime, you’ve most likely played in some sort of tournament where you were extremely exhausted. I can think of two times in my life: when I was 12 and we played 5 games on a Sunday in 100 degree heat and after we won the World Series my junior year of college (playing 8 games in 10 days plus travel).
So, yes, youngins we’ve been there done that.
My main problem with Paige Parker not pitching game 2 is she should WANT the ball. As a competitor, she should want to put her team in the best position to win the National Championship. We applaud many players over all sports for competing through injury and sickness (i.e. Michael Jordan’s flu game, Curt Schilling’s bloody sock…etc.) They put their own personal needs and problems behind to put the needs of the team first. I don’t want to see the next generation of any sports players thinking it is okay to quit when you’re tired! It’s not, if I would’ve quit when I was tired, I wouldn’t have the National Championship I have.
This is most likely the biggest game of her life, her career – she should want to be the spark plug for her team. If you were Paige Parker, would you demand the ball?