As a senior, Kara Amos is well versed in the history of Truman softball and the legendary teams of Paige Parker. Now Amos and her teammates are creating a little history of their own.
On Saturday, Truman won a second consecutive district championship with a dominating 7-0 victory over St. Teresa’s Academy in the Class 4 District 14 final at Raytown High School. Truman (18-11) will meet defending state champion Blue Springs South (16-6) in a sectional game Wednesday at Blue Springs South.
“At Truman High School softball, it’s always been about the era of Paige Parker,” Amos said. “Finally, having our own era with back to back (district titles) is something really special.”
Parker, of course, will always be revered as one of the most dominating pitchers to come out of Kansas City-area softball, the one who led the Patriots to the 2012 Class 4 state title before going off to win two NCAA titles at Oklahoma and play in the professional ranks. These Patriots respect that past, but they want to make their names known too.
“We kind of wanted to establish our own identity,” Truman coach Dan Harper said. “We definitely wanted to get back to the place where we think the program should be.”
This is Harper’s fifth season at Truman, so he wasn’t around for the Parker glory. His first team, in fact, only won six games. His second season, the freshman year for Amos and her fellow seniors, they doubled that number, and they’ve been above .500 ever since.
“(Amos) was really a big part of the turnaround,” Harper said. “She came in and was throwing bullets as a freshman.”
Amos was throwing bullets Saturday. Perfect through five innings, she gave up just one hit with no walks. She struck out five and never let St. Teresa’s (10-14) get a ball into the outfield.
“She’s a big-game player,” Harper said. “The one thing I always hear about her is her spin. She had command of spin on six different pitches and that’s tough to do.”
Amos faced the minimum 21 batters even with the hit, and that was her doing too. One out after St. Teresa’s Liz Ritchey hit a sharp single between third base and shortstop, the Stars’ Kate Gibson hit a popup in front of the pitcher’s circle. Amos made a diving catch and threw a bullet to first baseman Hope Albert to double up Ritchey.
“That one felt good,” Amos said. “I’ll just do anything for my team.”
Amos received plenty of help from an errorless defense and an offense that collected 10 hits for the second straight game.
Truman took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single from Erynn Boatright, who went 3-for-4 and scored a run. The Patriots added two more in the second on Katie Sutton’s RBI single and a wild pitch, two more in the fifth with a Taylor Hastings single and two errors and another pair in the sixth on RBI singles from Myel White and Hastings.
“I think our batters came to play, one through nine,” Amos said. “We knew what pitches we wanted to hit, and we did just that.”
Now Truman turns its attention to Blue Springs South, the same team that ended the Patriots’ season in sectionals last year en route to the Class 4 state title. After outscoring the opposition 19-0 and allowing just one hit in two district games, the Patriots feel ready to make some more history.
“We’re on fire,” Amos said. “We’re ready to get some revenge against them, so I think we will do well.”