Chloe Armstrong is a goal setter, just ask her Truman High School softball coach, Dan Harper.
“That’s the thing I like most about Chloe,” Harper said, “if she sets a goal for herself, she is going to meet it exceed it. This season, she exceeded everyone’s goals and expectations, and had one the best seasons I’ve ever seen.”
The junior catcher hit four homers as a sophomore, and knew that Truman graduate Paige Parker, who has pitched Oklahoma to back-to-back NCAA national championships, owned the school record of nine.
“I wanted to see if I could beat Paige’s record, because it would be crazy to be mentioned in the same sentence with Paige Parker,” Armstrong said. “She’s the best player in the history of Truman and one of the best players in the country.”
She didn’t just beat it – she crushed it – in a spectacular season that earned her The Examiner’s 2017 Softball Player of the Year.
Armstrong hit 14 homers and drove in 45 runs. She hit .473 and had a slugging percentage of 1.118. Her 14 home runs tied her for fifth in state history for a single season, just two off the state record of 16.
Ironically, Parker and Armstrong met Thursday night at The Dugout, a sports practice facility in Independence where Armstrong was practicing with her competitive team and Parker was working out with her father Terry Parker, her longtime area coach and the former activities director at Oak Grove High School.
“I’m so happy for Chloe,” Parker said as he chatted with many of the younger players at the facility. “If your record is going to be broken, you want it to be broken by a great player and a great person like Chloe.
“I’m so happy she and Coach Harper and the Truman girls have had so much success. I keep track of what they’re doing online and I’m proud of them.”
When Armstrong walked to the plate, everything stopped in the stands because spectators knew they had the chance to see a moon shot off the rock ledge at Adair Park or a record-breaking moment in Truman history.
“I am so thrilled for Chloe,” said Harper, who led the Patriots to a 23-6 record. “There isn’t a more deserving a player, a harder working player. She’s not a vocal leader, but even though she’s just a junior she has emerged as a leader on our team – she leads by example. And all the girls love playing with her and really respect her.”
Armstrong was in the middle of finals week, and the news about her most recent award caught her off guard.
“Really?” she asked. “This is so crazy. Softball season has been over for a while and all I’ve been thinking about is finals week and then, I get the news about being named player of the year. It so crazy, so amazing, I can’t thank you enough.”