West Stokes Mackenzie Parker committed to play softball for Appalachian State University before her sophomore year of high school, but on Wednesday she made it official when she signed to play for the Mountaineers.
“I am excited and nervous,” she said. “I committed under the previous coach and had to go back through the recruiting process with coach Hoerner (Shelly). She came and watched me play and was happy with what she saw. I really like the campus environment and the small town feel it has. I can’t wait to get up there.”
While playing for West Stokes, Parker was awarded Western Piedmont Athletic All-Conference her sophomore and junior years, while being awarded All-District 5 and All-State both years as well. She plays shortstop and pitches for the Wildcats, but will be used as a third baseman and utility player while attending Appalachian.
“I play third base for my travel team now,” Parker said. “I just want to hit. I’ll play anywhere they need me.”
Parker also excelled on the volleyball court during her high school athletic career. She was WPAC All-Conference this season and hit the 1,000 assist milestone for the Wildcats.
“Mackenzie is a team player in both sports,” said West Stokes coach Jordan Stevens. “She is willing to do whatever the cause to make her team better. We moved her to a different possession in volleyball and made the team better. We depend on her hitting, fielding, and sometimes her pitching on the softball field and she is very positive about it. She has grown so much mentally in her time at West Stokes. She will be a great fit for Appalachian and has an opportunity to start from the beginning there, if she will continue to work hard.”
While attending Appalachian, Parker plans to major in criminal justice or prelaw. She is the daughter of Ty and Robin Parker of King.
“She has been playing softball since the age of four,” said her dad. “This is something she has wanted to do for a long time and her mother and I are excited for her journey ahead and believe Appalachian is a good fit for her.”
Appalachian State University is a comprehensive, public, coeducational university in Boone, North Carolina and has an enrollment of 18,295. It was founded as a teacher’s college in 1899 by brothers B.B. and D.D. Dougherty.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.