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With schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the high school sports season suspended, seniors who play spring sports are missing out on their final athletic opportunities. With that in mind, each week during the spring the Shore Sports Network will feature a senior athlete who would normally be making headlines on the field, diamond, track, golf course, tennis court or volleyball court. Each athlete will receive a $25 Jersey Mike’s gift card as the iconic Jersey Shore business continues its support of Shore Conference athletics.

Photo provided by Julia Parker. Artwork by Steve Meyer/Townsquare Media NJ.

Name: Julia Parker

School: Saint John Vianney

Spring sport: Softball

Position: Pitcher

Bio: Parker had a great junior season to lead St. John Vianney to the Shore Conference Tournament championship, pitching to a 0.59 earned run average with a superb 223 strikeouts in 165 innings. The power right-hander was also a force at the plate batting .506 with seven home runs and 42 RBI plus 15 doubles and 40 total hits. As a sophomore, Parker pitched St. John Vianney to the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship, which included a complete-game shutout against Donovan Catholic in the Non-Public South A final. That season, she had 22 wins, a 0.84 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 151 innings. She is a two-time All-State selection by NJ.com.

Other sports: none

College plans: Signed to Georgetown University.

How you are staying in shape/practicing your sport: "I have been pitching almost every day with my dad and sister; I have also been doing cardio workouts at home."

Hardest part of being out of school/sports: "It has been the hardest to not be able to spend my senior year playing for SJV and being with my teammates."

One positive that has come from having to stay home: "I have been able to spend a lot of quality time with my family (especially my dog Rocky) before I leave for college."

Favorite stay-at-home activity: "Doing jigsaw puzzles."

Coach's corner: "Julia Parker is an outstanding athlete. She is a smart, powerful pitcher who is also crafty with movement. This makes her a dominant force on the mound. Her secret weapon is her batting; she is equally dominant with the swing of the bat. She has been unbelievably coachable and an amazing athlete to watch grow! I will miss the fact that I won’t get to coach her one more season! But she has accomplished more in three years than most athletes ever do!  - Kim Lombardi, St. John Vianney head softball coach.