Sam Parlich, Tribune softball player of the year: Waiting for a second championship ring to be constructed and engraved — they won’t be ready until September or October — is the only pause Chandler Basha senior Sam Parlich gets from softball.
Waiting for a second championship ring to be constructed and engraved — they won’t be ready until September or October — is the only pause Chandler Basha senior Sam Parlich gets from softball.
There was a week between the Bears’ extra-inning victory in the 5A Division I state title victory and the start of her California Cruisers club ball season, where she’s the only Arizona player on the team.
After three trips to the west and another to Colorado, summer season ends in time to begin her Arizona State career in the fall.
She’ll watch the College World Series this weekend as the Sun Devils attempt to repeat as national champions, something Parlich plans to be a part of in the coming years.
“It’s exciting to think about that,” Parlich said. “Possibly next year I could be doing the same thing. It’s exciting to watch. It’s like the state (tournament) games.”
The challenges that await Parlich under ASU coach Clint Myers will be different than her brilliant high school career.
The two-time Tribune player of the year hit .556 with five home runs, 38 RBIs, 61 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. On the flip side, she had a 19-4 record, 0.66 ERA and 214 strikeouts in 158 innings pitched.
Between Basha and his time as a Tempe Marcos de Niza assistant, Bears coach Scott Hoffmeyer coached a string of former ASU and major college players in the past decade. He also watched Stanford's Ashley Hansen (Tempe Corona del Sol) at least four times per season for the previous four years.
“They were incredible, but not of Sam’s caliber,” Hoffmeyer said. “Not a player all-around good like this.”
The presence of freshman Kailey Regester allowed Parlich to throw fewer innings than last season, but the Sun Devils will look at her in the circle and in the middle infield, where she played high school and club ball when not pitching.
Those behind her in the lineup offered help (Desiree Mejia had 46 RBIs and Lauren Regester had 31), but she was still pitched around in the postseason.
“That’s a respect thing because she’s so good,” Hoffmeyer said. “If I was facing Sam I’d have a hard time letting her beat us, because I knew she would.”
The plan for this year’s rings is a black stone and diamonds with “Business is good” and “Back-to-back” engravings.
She’ll only wear one of those two at a time, but Parlich sees NCAA championship jewelry in her future, and none who’ve seen her play the past four years would call that a pipe dream.
“It’ll be hard-core, and I’ll have to work harder and keep pushing,” she said. “Hopefully college will be as good or better.”