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Softball notes: Southeast’s Kylie Fox is a tough out

Published April 5 at 8:27 p.m. | Last updated April 5 at 8:28 p.m.

The statistic is so astonishing that Southeast softball coach Loren Scarbrough laughs when it’s suggested she’s fudging the truth.

“You almost think you are lying, and you go back and look at the stats, ‘no, that’s real, that’s true,’ ” Scarbrough said.

Southeast junior Kylie Fox has struck out three times in her high school career. That’s two full seasons plus one doubleheader in 2014.

Three strikeouts.

“She sees a ton of pitches,” Scarbrough said. “She knows her zone, she knows it well. She knows how to go with a pitch and not fight it. It makes her a tough out. I mean, she’s struck out three times in her whole career — she puts the ball in play.”

In Southeast’s season-opener, a split with East on April 1, Fox was 8 for 9 hitting.

“When she got out, it was a shot right up the middle and kind of ended up in the pitcher’s glove,” Scarbrough said. “She was an inch away from being 9 for 9.”

Fox, whose career batting average is over .500, hit four singles, three doubles and a triple on Tuesday.

“Literally every time she steps in the box, I expect to see her on a base,” Scarbrough said. “That’s how she operates.”

Fox, a two-time All-City selection at utility, catches Game 1 of doubleheaders, pitches Game 2.

“She’s ben phenomenal,” Scarbrough said. “She came in as a freshman with lots of softball experience, and she’s been a leader for us since then. She’s not a picher, but she goes in there and does a phenomenal job.”

Scarbrough figures that having Fox at catcher has earned Southeast at least three wins.

“To have someone that solid behind the plate, it changes everything in softball,” she said.

Parks’ return — Sue Parks coached softball for 20 years at West, and after six years away including two as a retiree, Parks is back.

“I am having a blast,” Parks said. “I am having more fun right now than I have had in a long, long time with kids. I have a great bunch of kids.”

The original plan was to return as an assistant, but when the head coach resigned, Parks stepped in.

She understands the situation at West, knows that few of the players are involved in club softball. But Parks embraces those difficulties.

“Of the 21 that are out, there are probably seven of them who, up until March 4, had never played ball. They are working their little butts off. They’re good kids,” she said. “… They want to be part of something. I understand that. I’ve always been receptive to that, and I’ve been up for the challenge. I love West.”

Heading into the season, Parks had to find equipment for the players because few had gloves.

She teaches the game basically from scratch, and it wasn’t until the Pioneers’ season-opening doubleheader against Carroll, the three-time defending Class 5A champ, that they understood some of the reasons behind what she’s teaching.

“My kids caught fly balls. They did the things I had been working on. And watching them do things and then look at me, ‘oh, now we understand why we did that in practice.’ It’s hilarious,” Parks said.

“I love the game of softball, and to watch them learn it. It’s probably things that kids in high school ball take for granted, but they love it. They get that light in their eyes.”

Reach Joanna Chadwick at 316-268-6270 or jchadwick@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @joannachadwick.