A pair of Truman freshmen and a couple of crafty vets opened the 2010 softball season in grand style.

Freshman pitcher Paige Parker tossed a one-hit, five-inning complete game to help the Patriots to a 7-1 win Monday over Platte County in the opening game of Pool D play of the Greater Kansas City Suburban Softball Invitational at Adair Park.

Truman lost its second game of the day against Belton 3-2 in eight innings.

Against Platte County, freshman outfielder Sara Jeffress reached base twice on singles and scored a run, while seniors Jenni Bowen (two singles, two stolen bases, one run scored and a RBI) and Brooke Pollard (single, run scored) provided high-energy spark.

“I thought we played well,” Patriots head coach Steve Broughton said after the win against Platte County. “We pitched well and I think a lot of games this year — if we don’t beat ourselves — I think we’ll be good enough to win.”

Parker’s debut included nine strikeouts and just one walk. Her wild pitch with a runner on third in the bottom of the second inning was the only time the Pirates crossed the plate.

At the plate, the freshman was 2-for-2 with a walk, a double and two RBIs. Her lead-off double off the left field wall in the top of the second inning set the stage for senior Tylar Pollard’s two-out bloop single that put Truman ahead 2-0.

Parker added a two-run scoring single in the top of the fifth that stretched the Patriots’ lead to 5-1.

“I felt a little nervous at the beginning, but towards the end I felt much more comfortable and felt in a groove,” Parker said, adding she was surprised to draw the opening-day start on the mound. “We have a lot of great players and a lot of great pitchers on this team and I felt really great — really honored — to be pitching this first game.”

Appointing the first-game assignment to Parker wasn’t that difficult of a choice for Broughton.

“She probably will be (the Patriots’ No. 1 pitcher),” Broughton said. “She has a lot of talent. She gave up one hit and eight strikeouts in a five-inning game, so...”

“She has a lot of talent — she hit the ball really well for us too — she had a single, a double and a couple of RBI’s for us; she brings a lot to our team. She makes us better.”

Parker and Jeffress’ play brought a sly smile from the face of the normally stoic Broughton

“That’s a great debut for a freshman,” Broughton said of Parker’s pitching and hitting display. “We’ve got three other freshmen, too, that are going to have to play. I thought Sara Jeffress did a really nice job. She made a couple of good plays and got on (base) twice. She didn’t do too bad.”

Bowen, who started on the mound against Belton, was impressed with Parker’s coming-out party.

“She’s amazing,” Bowen said. “I’m proud of her. “She wasn’t even nervous — I didn’t think she was. I think she just went up there like she’s done it before.”

Parker’s act figured to be a hard one to follow, Bowen said.

“Now, I’m going to go pitch after that?” Bowen quipped.

Tylar Pollard finished the first game with two singles and three RBIs for Truman and Allie Scates drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the fifth for her only RBI.

In the second game, Parker suffered the loss against Belton in relief of Bowen, who had two strikeouts and issued one walk in five innings. Parker pitched 2 1/3 innings and struck out five with no walks.

Tashina Bradley and Bowen had an RBI each for the Patriots.

“I thought we played a good game,” Broughton said after his team fell to 1-1. “It was pretty well-played.

The Patriots resume tournament play Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. against Raytown.