Patricia Parks, the star pitcher for the defending CIF champion Chino Hills softball team, has returned to the team after leaving indefinitely two weeks ago.
Following the first two tournaments of the season, Parks, a junior committed to the University of Arizona, left the team of her own accord.
“Patricia decided she did not want to play anymore,” Chino Hills coach Mike 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.”
The loss was certainly a substantial one for the third-ranked team in CIF-SS Division 2.
Parks was a central figure on the team that won the CIF-SS Division 3 championship last season and was playing an even more vital role this year. As the leadoff hitter and everyday left fielder, she hit .479 last season and went 10-1 with a 1.07 ERA as the secondary pitcher.
She was the primary pitcher this season and was batting .424 before leaving the team. Her return early this week provided a welcome addition as Sierra League play play approaches.
“In the last few days, her efforts to make our team better and to become a true leader have been outstanding,” Southworth said. “Our team embraces her efforts and appreciates more than ever what kind of person she has shown she can be.”
Chino Hills, which is 11-1 on the season, begins league play April 9 at Covina Charter Oak before hosting an Ayala team ranked 10th in Division 2 on April 11.