Taylor Parr’s softball skills are taking her far.
The 15-year-old pitcher has been invited by the Secwepemc Saints to participate in an all-native fastpitch tournament in San Jacinto, Calif., later this month.
This is in addition to an October tour of the southeastern United States she will be embarking upon with a pair of her Quesnel teammates.
The Saints saw Parr play earlier this summer and asked her if she would be interested in going, but it was not set in stone until two weeks ago.
At 15, she will be the youngest player on the team, which is mainly made up of players between 20 and 40 years of age.
“The tournament is mostly going to be made up of people that have played university ball,” says Parr. “So it’s going to be really competitive.”
While all the travelling is sudden, it comes as a result of a couple years of very hard work.
Parr started softball as a catcher but in the last two years has switched over to pitching.
It began as playing catch with her father, who played triple-A fastpitch in the United States, and it has expanded rapidly from there.
Parr was picked up by a Prince George squad that needed an extra pitcher and then nabbed by a U19 Kelowna team this summer.
The experience playing with older girls has helped her immensely.
“Because the U19 [pitchers] are allowed to pitch a whole game, I’ve been able to improve my stamina quite a bit,” the young hurler says.
At one point, she threw in back-to-back tournaments as the sole pitcher of the team.
“She pitched 11 full games altogether,” her mother, Peggy Parr, says.
“It was good for when she came home. The provincial tournament allowed the U16 girls to pitch whole games, so she had a step up on much of her competition.”
Parr says in addition to her stamina, her control and speed are also strengths.
Tenacity has helped her as well.
“Whenever something starts not working or I’m struggling a bit more, that’s when I push a little harder and it starts to work again,” she says.
“She’s put in a lot of work,” her mother adds,” and now she’s starting to see a payoff. Other people are noticing it too.”