Freshman infielder McKenzie Parker, a new addition to the University of Texas at Austin’s softball roster, is an example of how athletes from different sports can inspire one another.

On her UT Longhorns bio, Parker lists her sports hero as J.J. Watt, the defensive end for the Houston Texans football team. The qualities she most admires are Watts’ “selflessness, dedication and hard work both on and off the field,” her bio states.

In high school, Parker was named 2016 Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 5A First Team All-State, both a Collin Street Bakery Texas Sports Writers Association Class 5A Second Team All-State and Honorable Mention (Utility) selection and the District 20-5A Offensive Most Valuable Player.

Along the way, she amassed a “gaudy” string of stats, including hitting “.455 with 171 runs, 201 hits, 60 doubles, 11 triples, 26 [homeruns] and 142 RBIs,” according to her record on


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