It’s been nearly a year since Chandra Parr suffered a torn ACL in her left knee, which cost her the rest of her junior softball season and almost all of her senior volleyball campaign.
Although she’s still not quite 100 percent, the Anna-Jonesboro senior is hitting and running well so far during the young season.
But the always devastating knee injury is still fresh in Parr’s memory. It happened against Sparta in late April of last year.
“It was a weird accident where I was just running, and my cleat got caught when I changed directions,” Parr recalled. “My knee just went the opposite way, and I went down. At first they said they thought it was maybe a jammed knee. But when I really started asking what it was, of course they wouldn’t tell me.”
Parr also suffered an MCL injury during the play, and so she began to wonder how this would affect her softball future. She had to wait over a month to have the ACL surgery because the MCL had to heal first.
“All that went through my mind was my scholarship, and I wondered if they’d still want me,” Parr said. “I was just thinking the worst. I didn’t know if I would be able to play softball again. I also hadn’t signed yet.”
As one of the best softball players in Southern Illinois, Parr had verbally committed to play Division I at the University of Evansville.
Although she was concerned and upset that her softball dreams might not come true, it all seems to be working out. After enduring rehab several times a week for four months, she’s feeling good and confident on the softball field now.
Parr is a little hesitant when it comes to stealing bases, which is understandable. Doctors told her it would be a full year before she was back to normal. However, this knee injury may have ultimately helped her at the plate. Parr is hitting .603 with 23 RBIs and six stolen bases through 11 games.
“It does sound crazy that this has actually helped my hitting, but it’s true,” Parr said. “I always lunge forward on my left leg, but now I’m better at keeping my weight back. So it has helped out a lot.”
After this injury and dealing with the recovery process, Parr was just thrilled for softball practice to begin in February.
“I was so ready for our first practice just to figure out what I can do and what I need to work on,” Parr said. “As long as I’m on the field, I’m happy.”
Evansville began recruiting Parr early in her sophomore year. Although she plays short stop this year and third base last season, she’ll probably move back to the outfield in college.
Parr signed her athletic scholarship in December, and it covers 90 percent of her tuition, which isn’t all that common for a non-revenue sport in D-I collegiate sports.
“I went on a visit, and I just absolutely loved it,” Parr said. “I loved the coaches and the players there. The whole atmosphere was great.”
Anna-Jonesboro is 7-4 this season and begins SIRR Mississippi Division play with a road game at Du Quoin Monday.