How being an accomplished pianist helped Airline’s Paris Endris sign with Louisiana Tech
Paris Endris likes belting a good tune on her piano and that ability helped the senior land a softball scholarship to Louisiana Tech.
Endris, who has played first base, catcher, third base and sometimes in the outfield for Airline, is an accomplished pianist who can tickle the ivories with the best of them in Northwest Louisiana. She’s taken lessons since she was 6 years old and was playing at the college level by the time she was 12. She’s performed a number of challenging pieces by Mozart, but her favorite is In Schubert’s Day by Krentzlin.
“I have developed very strong hands from piano which has helped my grip strength in softball,” Endris said. “And being very competitive in both activities has helped me stay committed and focused.”
It got the attention of Louisiana Tech coach Josh Taylor, who signed both Endris and teammate Jina Baffuto. Endris is hitting .458 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs for the Lady Vikings (14-6). Baffuto is hitting .554 with eight home runs and 35 runs scored.
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“Paris brings a variety of things to the DI softball table. She can play multiple positions, including catcher, and has the strength to excel at this level,” said Taylor, who is in his first season with the Bulldogs. “She also has leadership qualities we look for at this level. Her energy is contagious, and she has the perfect personality to handle a pitching staff. We feel she will be able to contribute early in her college softball career.”
Airline coach Brittany Smith is enjoying having an overachiever, like Endris, who maintains a 4.0-plus GPA and was an important part of last season's LHSAA Class 5A runner-up team.
“Paris is a team leader who is always helping others,” Smith said. “No matter the outcome or situation, she remains calm, confident and a team player through it all.”
Baffuto's four years of starting experience has helped the senior become a consistent leader. She also has maintained a 3.9 GPA.
“Jina is a competitor, perfectionist and works hard to achieve her goals,” Smith said. “She is an awesome teammate and was voted the Lady Viking Award for the 2021 season by her teammates.”
The Lady Techsters will be getting a high energy package on the field and in the classroom when the two arrive in Ruston. Keeping them separated might be a bit of a challenge, however.
“We are very good friends, and we are rooming together at Tech as a matter of fact,” Endris said. “And we can’t wait to continue our bond and be studs on the field.”
Jimmy Watson covers Shreveport-Bossier area sports. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.