Player Profile – Kaia Parnaby

Position: Pitcher
Uniform Number: 32
Debut: 2009 Canada Cup
Cap Number: 250
Club Team: Saints
Association Team: North Shore
State Team: NSW Firestars
Date of Birth: 14 July 1990
Height: 170cm

Kaia has carried the mantle of being the Aussie Spirit’s number one pitcher for a number of years.  Time and again, her performances have seen Australia excel on the world stage.

Kaia was dominant at junior national level, winning four Best Pitcher awards at U16 and U19 National Championships and another one in 2008 at U23 level.

She was part of Australia’s bronze medal winning team at the 2007 Junior Women’s World Championship and made her debut for the Aussie Spirit two years later at just 18 years of age, at the 2009 Canada Cup.

It was no surprise that Kaia was targeted by a number of US colleges, accepting a scholarship offer from the University of Hawaii. She played there for four years (2010-2013), in her final season breaking the Big West’s single-season win record (39) and strikeout record (342). She was awarded that year with a number of honours, including NFCA All American, NFCA 1st Team All Region, 1st Team Big West Selection, Easton All American and Big West Pitcher of the Year.

Kaia has represented the Aussie Spirit at many international tournaments, including five open World Championships, winning two bronze medals. She was instrumental in helping Australia qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games, pitching in three of the Aussie Spirit’s five games at the Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifier, where the team went undefeated.

At Australian Championships, Kaia has won 11 national titles with New South Wales, including six Gilley’s Shield titles at open level.

Outside of Australia, Kaia has played in the Japan Women’s Softball League for seven seasons with the SGH Galaxy Stars. She made her debut in 2014 and struck out 67 in her rookie year. Her best year was in 2018, when she struck out 98 opponents, the second best in the league, trailing US fireballer Monica Abbott. Last year, Kaia notched up her 500th career strikeout in the league, a phenomenal record.

Kaia played in the US National Pro Fastpitch league in 2017 with the Chicago Bandits and in 2018 and 2019 with the Australian team.

In 2019, Kaia was a part of the victorious Fury team at the inaugural Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball, pitching the win in the grand final in Softball Australia’s newest form of the game.

 

Video:
September 2019 – Kaia pitches the final out to qualify Australia for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

 

Media
Podcast – August 2020: Kaia features on Episode 2 of the Softball Insider Podcast, driven by Kumho Tyre Australia.
Article – November 2018: Softball ace Kaia Parnaby planning an Olympic return two decades in the making
Article – August 2018: Workhorse Parnaby keeps on going
Article – August 2016: Team-first approach a driving force for Kaia
 
World Championships:
2018: XVI Women’s Softball World Championship, Chiba, Japan
2016: XV Women’s Softball World Championship, Surrey, Canada
2014: XIV Women’s Softball World Championship, Haarlem, Netherlands (bronze medal)
2012: XIII Women’s Softball World Championship, Yukon, Canada (bronze medal)
2010: XII Women’s Softball World Championship, Caracas, Venezuela
2007: VIII Jnr Women’s Softball World Championship, Enschede, Netherlands (bronze medal)
National Awards:
2020: Best Pitcher, The Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball
2017: Player of the Grand Final, Open Women’s National Softball Championship
2008, 2009: Best Pitcher, U19 Women’s National Softball Championship
2008: Best Pitcher, U23 Women’s National Softball Championship
2005, 2006: Best Pitcher, U16 Girls’ National Softball Championship