DARKE COUNTY – Two of Darke County’s best pitchers, who also are among the best hitters on their teams, are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Bradford baseball player Parker Smith and Franklin Monroe softball player Emilee Morris.
No game embodies Smith’s ability as a pitcher more than Bradford’s game against Miami East earlier this month. The Railroader sophomore pitched a complete nine-inning game and shut out the Vikings. He only allowed two hits and one walk the entire game.
“The game against Miami East he was on,” Bradford baseball coach Shane Snyder said. “I didn’t have to ask him if he was wearing down because he had determination written all over his face and confidence in every pitch he threw. He will be a fun player to watch the next two seasons.”
Smith has excelled throughout the season, putting together a 2.90 ERA in Cross County Conference games.
Smith routinely keeps batters off-balance with 40 strikeouts this year. But his skills go beyond just his pitching as he’s second on his team in RBIs.
“Parker has a passion for the game and is a reliable asset to our team,” Snyder said. “At the plate he is a smart hitter and fundamentally sound, which shows in his hitting stats. I feel confident playing him anywhere in the field, and on the mound he’s not an overpowering pitcher, but he hits his spots and throws strikes.”
Emilee Morris also had a big game against Miami East as she broke Franklin Monroe’s career strikeouts record against the Vikings with her 251st career strikeout. Last year she broke the Jets’ single season strikeouts record and is on the verge of breaking her own record this season.
“She’s played excellent,” Franklin Monroe softball coach Mike Morris said. “Defensively on the mound she’s done her job. She don’t walk too many batters.”
In addition to the strikeout records, Emilee Morris is on pace to break Franklin Monroe’s career wins record. The FM junior rewriting the record books even though he didn’t want to become a pitcher.
“Last year she came in because our pitcher broke her hand, stepped up,” Coach Morris said. “She doesn’t really want to pitch; she wants to play third.”
So far this season Emilee Morris is among the best in all of Darke County with a 1.71 ERA.
“She hits her spots really well,” Coach Morris said.
In addition to her excellence as a pitcher, Emilee Morris is among Franklin Monroe’s best hitters with a .333 average.
“That’s what we need out of her,” Coach Morris said. “She does her job.”