Chino Hills junior Patricia Parks, the starting pitcher for the defending CIF-SS Division 3 softball champions, left the team last week, according to Huskies head coach Mike Southworth. Parks, who is verbally committed to Arizona, hit .479 and went 10-1 with a 1.07 ERA last season behind primary pitcher Nikki Innamorato. An everyday outfielder last year, Parks was the Huskies primary pitcher this season.
“Patricia decided she did not want to play anymore,” Southworth said in an email. “She was not removed from our team. Nobody likes to lose a player of Patricia’s ability, but athletes have to want to be there and be there on the coach’s terms.”
Parks will continue to play on the travel ball circuit and is still attending school at Chino Hills with no known plans to transfer. Having graduated four starters from last year’s CIF championship team, three who went on to play in college, Parks was to play a vital role for the next two seasons. She scored 36 runs as a leadoff hitter last season and had 18 RBIs in addition to pitching 65 innings and striking out 62 batters. There are now nine sophomores in the Huskies starting lineup.
“We have fair rules that apply to all in our program and our players know what is expected of them,” Southworth said. “Regardless of talent in any given year, we believe that discipline within a program is a major part of any team’s growth and success. We do not bend the rules for any player.
“It’s unfortunate for her, but for us, we simply focus on 15 young, great kids and look forward to coaching them every day.”