Keira Izumi, Class of 2024, is showing young girls in sports that gender is not a limit when it comes to playing a sport they love. Keira is a multi-sport athlete at Parker, playing on both the Baseball and Softball teams during the spring season. 

Keira’s love for baseball developed when she started playing in a co-ed teeball league near the house she grew up in. By the time she was around seven, Keira recalls being the last girl in the league who hadn’t switched from baseball to softball. She loved the challenge and the competition of the teams she was currently on, so she decided to continue playing on baseball teams predominantly made up of boys. It was not until the spring of 2023 that she started playing softball. Parker’s softball team didn’t have enough players to form the team, so Keira joined the team, which ensured they could compete. 

In addition to playing on the Parker Baseball and Softball teams, Keira has played baseball for Youth MLB and USA Baseball teams around the United States and even in Japan. Through the organization Baseball for All, Keira was able to travel to Tochigi, Japan, in the summer of 2023 as part of the Ambassador Program and play on the 23U team in the inaugural PONY Girls’ Baseball World Series.

“I think it’s a great thing to be part of these first events for girls’ baseball and see how it’s growing—especially seeing Japan because Japan has a more well-funded and cultivated women’s baseball scene,” Keira explained. 

Keira also plays for a girls’ baseball team out of Arizona called the Arizona Peaches. The team competes in several tournaments throughout the year, and they are always all-girl tournaments. They have a tournament in July called the Baseball for All National Tournament. The teams are all comprised of girls. “The whole atmosphere is amazing. It’s all-girls baseball,” Keira said. 

Despite all of Keira’s impressive athletic accomplishments, what makes her the most proud “is seeing other girls learning to love the game, baseball especially. I think one thing that always makes me super happy is when parents or coaches are like, ‘Oh, my little girl wants to be just like you,’” Keira said. 

Keira’s love for baseball and softball has taught her lessons outside of sports. She has learned a lot about time management, especially when juggling the demands of her academically rigorous junior year with two sports simultaneously. She has also had to pay close attention to her physical limits to avoid recurring injuries. 

“Playing two team sports in the same season is challenging, but Keira does it with ease and confidence. I have enjoyed watching her represent female student-athletes in male sports,” said Director of Athletics Dr. Mahina Hannemann-Gago.

Keira’s favorite part about playing sports is the camaraderie. She said, “It is just an environment where everybody’s putting in the same amount of work and wants to get better, and it’s a second family.”

Keira graduates with the Class of 2024 this spring, and we look forward to seeing everything she accomplishes. Parker is proud to support Keira and recognizes the legacy she will leave with both the Parker Baseball and Softball programs.