Kelsi Pardue---Kentucky Miss Softball in 2012 and current James E. Bazzell Middle School softball coach----was induced into the Kentucky Prep Softball Hall-of-Fame (HOF) in ceremonies Saturday night in Corbin. Pardue and former Allen County-Scottsville High School pitcher Hannah Roberts were among eight players and coaches entering the HOF this year, bringing to 118 the numbers of players, coaches, umpires, instructors, and media comprising the Hall.
“I’m kind of speechless,” Pardue said. “I knew it was coming since as a Miss Softball, you become eligible five years after graduation but it’s still kind of surreal. I am very blessed. I have to thank my family, all of my coaches, my pitching coach Kim Borders who brought my pitching to a whole new level, my teammates and my catcher, Taylor Borders, who made me look so much better, and my school and my community.”
Pardue begin her softball journey as a coach-pitch player when she was four years old. Under the leadership of her father, Kevin Pardue, the young Pardue began to blossom as a pitcher. From the fields of the Scottsville Girls Softball League, Pardue moved into travel softball to develop her skills. By the time she reached middle school, her resume included a wealth of softball experience---an experience that would only be enhanced by AC-S coach Rick Roberts.
“I played at Fred Hale, plenty of travel teams, and all over the country,” Pardue added. “Then, I played for coach (Rick) Roberts. My dad and coach Roberts have taught me so much. I probably could write a book. The experiences I have had have been great.”
By the time Pardue graduated in 2012, she had rewritten the Allen County-Scottsville record book. Pardue is the AC-S record holder in wins (112), strikeouts (1,290), shutouts (54), single season wins (34), and winning percentage (.842). Her career ERA was 0.90 and she had a career strikeout average of 10.6. During her senior season in 2012, she averaged 12.9 strikeouts per game. Pardue threw five perfect games as a Lady Patriot player. She finished her career with an overall 112-21 record and a career .336 batting average including a senior year batting average of .412.
Pardue ranks among the top-10 of several state records including season wins, career shutouts, shutouts in a season, no hitters in a season, perfect games, strikeouts in a season, and strikeouts per game in a season. Pardue is in the top eight for career strikeouts. Also, Pardue’s career batting average was .336 and her senior year average was .412.
The induction to the HOF caps a career in which Pardue’s honors have been many. In addition to Miss Softball in 2012, Pardue was the 2011 state tournament Most Valuable Player as she helped lead AC-S to the championship. Pardue was also the Class 2A Player-of-the-Year as a junior, a First-Team All-State selection for three years, a state tournament team selection her freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons, All-Region and All-District multiple years, and a junior and senior Kentucky All-Star player. Following her senior year, Pardue was chosen as the Kentucky High School Coaches Association Most Outstanding Senior and selected as a Second Team All-American by the National Federation Coaches Association.
Pardue signed with Western Kentucky University before transferring to Campbellsville University, As a freshman Lady Tiger, Pardue posted a record of 15-7, earned Mid-South All-Conference Team honors and established a single game strikeout record (17) before walking away from the game for a brief time.
“I kind of got away from softball for a little bit but I realized I wasn’t done with it,” Pardue admitted. “Now, I’m doing what I love. I’m learning and hopefully I’m impacting these girls on and off the field. If I’m half the coach that coach Roberts was I will be satisfied.”
Pardue graduated from Campbellsville University in May of 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Ministries. In addition, Pardue serves as the pitching coach for the high school softball team.
The Kentucky prep softball Hall-of-Fame recognizes individuals from across the Commonwealth who has excelled on the field as a player or coach or has supported softball. Nominations are received each September with the Kentucky Softball Coaches Association making the selections. Former Lady Patriot coach Rick Roberts was inducted to the HOF in 2003.