Wildcats talk about 100 career wins on softball diamond

Apr. 23—The Wildcats' two seniors had 105 career wins on the softball diamond heading into Tuesday night's contest at Columbus High School in Columbus, Kansas.

Diamond won that game 4-1 to move to 30-0 on the season and give Grace Frazier and Caitlyn Suhrie their 106th career victory. Suhrie pitched a complete game and even hit the tiebreaking and eventual game-winning three-run home run for the Wildcats.

Both started on the softball team as freshmen.

The two spoke on Monday before their 18-0 win over Pierce City about the accomplishment of surpassing 100 career wins.

"I think it speaks volumes to how our program as a whole has been doing," Suhrie said. "That shows our program has been good from our freshman to senior year. Not just because of our grade but all the other grades."

"Like Caitlyn (was saying), you can't get 100 wins with just two people," Frazier added. "Not only the 20-plus girls out there. It's our two coaches as well who have pushed us to be where we are now. We have a lot to be thankful for."

Those coaches are head coach Kelsey Parrish and her assistant BJ Lorenzen. Parrish deflected any credit coming toward her.

"All the success goes back to the girls for buying in and believing in themselves and pushing themselves," Parrish said. "I just give them the tools and try to facilitate the culture of the program and they do the rest. So, really, I don't deserve any of the credit.

"BJ is another huge piece of our puzzle. She works with the pitchers. We have the same philosophy and we compliment each other really well."

But you can't look at what the Diamond softball program has accomplished since Parrish took over in the fall of 2013 without recognizing her role, too.

The Wildcats have been led by Parrish for what would be 11 seasons had COVID-19 not struck in 2020, cancelling one season. But, across 10 seasons of games, the Wildcats have gone 181-76-2. That's good for a 70.3% winning percentage under Parrish.

And what the coaches have done for these seniors to help them have success on the field isn't the only thing they'll remember. The work put in outside of softball and what they've learned from them as life skills is just as important to Frazier and Suhrie.

"I've never met a woman that's more selfless and works harder than she does at her job. It's not just softball season that she works. It's all year 'round," Frazier said. "It's BJ (Lorenzen), too. The two of them together is just perfect. They've taught us so much more than softball and we're just thankful for them."

"They're teaching us how to be good people," Suhrie added. "All of us, some a little sooner than others, will be putting our gear up soon. When we go out into college and the real world, we will know how to be good people."

Parrish believes her seniors are special due to their work ethic and inability to accept failure, saying they're "competitive by nature."


As Suhrie and Frazier indicated, there were more players that helped them accomplish 100 career wins.

Coach Parrish talked about some of the leaders when these two were freshmen and sophomores.

"A big contributing factor was that 2022 class. Madison Bentley and Lexi Bridges were super strong teammates that were upperclassmen when these girls (Frazier and Suhrie) were underclassmen," Parrish said. "Some of these younger girls as well. Lauren Turner is a huge piece of this puzzle."

Coach added that Grace Irwin was a key piece as a centerfielder from the earlier years. Today, players like Marissa DeJager and Aubrey Ball have had to step up and be key contributors as well as freshman pitcher Taelyn Reeder.

Suhrie and Frazier went in depth on what those upperclassmen did for them when they were underclassmen.

"They really laid the foundation for how to be good teammates and push other people," Suhrie said.

"I think they taught us how to work hard. For example, Madison Bentley went to college for softball and she put work in for everything, even school," Frazier added.

Last year's seniors, Emilee Shallenburger and MaKayah Culbertson had their shot at 100 career wins spoiled by COVID-19 during their freshman campaign They ended with 76 from their sophomore to senior seasons.


The seniors say it takes a coaching staff. The head coach says it takes players who are willing to buy in. They both say it helps to have a community backing.

"Amazing. I feel so blessed. I think our community backs our team so well," Parrish said.

It might mean a little extra to Parrish as a Diamond graduate herself.

"It just means the world. ... When people have your back it makes you play a lot more free and makes you love the game," Frazier added.

As for Parrish and how much longer she wants to coach:

"That's a tricky question. ... Suhrie is gunning for my job. She's going to come back and take over the program. That's her game plan. I have a little 3-year-old so it would be kind of cool to go out with her, but we will just see what God has in store for me."