E.A. Sports Today

Parris hits the mark

Pleasant Valley senior third baseman sets school record for career homers with a tournament blast against Horseshoe Bend

Pleasant Valley’s Mac Parris extends her arms on one of the two hits she got in Tuesday night’s opening game against Oxford. (Photo by Dave Brandsma)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – For someone who doesn’t consider herself a home-run hitter, Mac Parris sure hits a lot of them.

The Pleasant Valley senior third baseman drilled a two-run shot in the third inning of her team’s 7-0 victory over Horseshoe Bend in the Lady Tigers Classic Saturday to become the Lady Raiders’ all-time leading home run hitter.

Then she added to her other records in the Lady Raiders’ 5-3, 3-0 sweep of Oxford at Choccolocco Park Tuesday night.

The Saturday homer was the 28th of her career, breaking the all-time record she shared with teammate Kara Perry, who graduated last year.

She also holds the school records for career hits (290), doubles (63), triples (16), RBIs (245) and runs scored (211). She’s second in stolen bases (63).

Her nine homers this year ties the single-season school record, set by Perry in 2016 and tied by Mikayla Kendrick last season.

“It felt pretty good to break the home run record,” Parris said. “I hit my first home run in seventh grade (against Anniston) and just thought it was luck. I don’t really see myself as a home-run hitter. I’m just a power hitter. Home runs just kind of happen.”

Parris went 2-for-4 with two runs, an RBI and a stolen base in PV’s win in the opening game against Oxford. The Lady Raiders (30-14) rallied from a 3-0 deficit and Parris was, as usual, right in the middle of the action.

She singled home the middle run in a three-run fifth that tied the game and delivered a two-strike single to keep the go-ahead seventh-inning rally moving. She scored what proved to be the insurance run.

“She just has really good hand-eye coordination ever since I first saw her play ball as a little girl,” PV coach David Bryant said. “She’s always had the knack of making good solid contact. It didn’t matter if it was early in the count or two strikes.

“She actually hits better with two strikes than she does any other count. I don’t ever worry about two-strike counts because that’s where she likes to hit. Most kids get nervous with two strikes; she thrives on two strikes.”

Parris hit five homers her first year with the varsity as a seventh grader, just trying to do her best and never really expecting to start. She battled shoulder and knee injuries the next year that reduced her role and didn’t hit any. She has hit 20 the last three seasons combined, perhaps none bigger than the one she hit in last year’s state tournament that tied the game against Gordo.

“The home runs just happened,” she said.

Parris was headed to Henderson State, but Wednesday accepted an offer to play at West Alabama.


The Lady Raiders went 2-1 in the knockout portion of the Randolph County tournament, losing in the semifinals to Sylacauga 5-3. Parris went 3-for-3 in that game. She also had a walk-off two-run double in the sixth inning of their 5-3 win over White Plains the game before.

Julianna Ballew and Ava Boozer both had three hits against White Plains. Mikayla Kendrick had two hits against Sylacauga and was 5-for-9 in the three games. Olivia Jones pitched a two-hit shutout in the Horseshoe Bend game.

“Savannah (Williams) injured her hand before the first game and we battled all day without her, so I’m proud of what we accomplished today,” Bryant said. “We also are missing Cortney Williams and Chandler Dorsett. We will get Cortney and Savannah back sometime next week.”

And it is a big week. The Lady Raiders have a doubleheader with Oxford at Choccolocco Park on Tuesday, host White Plains Thursday for Senior Night and wrap up the regular-season Saturday morning at home against Alexandria. The opponents are the other top four seeds from last week’s Calhoun County Tournament.

“We are trying to get ready to make a run and push ourselves to play at our highest level,” Bryant said. “It’s that time of year.”

It’s outta here

Mac Parris’ year-by-year home run totals

2013 – 5
2014 – 0
2015 – 3
2016 – 4
2017 – 7
2018 – 9
Total – 28

Mac Parris has hit 20 home runs in her last three seasons combined. With her next homer, she will set PV’s single-season record. (Photo by Dave Brandsma)

Cover photo of Mac Parris by B.J. Franklin

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