Five Returning Power Hitters To Watch In 2024
In college softball, hitters often have the ability to change the course of a game with one swing. While a hitter can change the game with either a big home run or a run-producing hit, many college athletes do not fully come into their power until they become upperclassmen.
Only a select number of underclassmen have power abilities that can change the game year after year in their NCAA career.
Below we examine five power hitters who are returning to the field at the college level for the 2024 season.
Kern dazzled in her first year in the NCAA in 2023. At Indiana, she put up historic power numbers before entering the transfer portal at the end of her freshman campaign.
Through 62 games played, Kern had a .942 slugging percentage to go along with 23 home runs and 68 RBIs. She finished the season ranked second in home runs in the nation and was tied for third in RBIs. Kern was named the Big Ten Freshman and Player of the Year for her performance, along with being named a Softball America All-American.
No matter where Kern ends up in 2024, she is on pace to keep up her power numbers and be a top slugger in the country for years to come.
In her second season at Marshall, Owen won the Sun Belt Conference triple crown, cementing herself as a top hitter in the sport. Owen finished ranked second in the nation in RBIs with 71 and tied for seventh in home runs with 19. A highlight of her historic season was during the Liberty Classic when she hit five home runs in one weekend.
After playing two seasons at Gardner-Webb and two more at Marshall, Owen elected to transfer to UNC for her final season of college softball. After already having a legendary career, Owen can finish it off with one more big season in 2024.
Spaid finished fourth in the nation in home runs with 22 in 2023. That performance came after a 2022 season during which she hit 28 home runs. Since entering the MAC, she has been a top player in the conference and was the MAC Tournament MVP in 2023 after leading her team to a MAC Tournament championship.
Spaid is also the all-time leader in many offensive categories for the Miami University softball program and still has one more year to add to her records.
A huge production season in 2023 makes Wallace a top power hitter returning in 2024. In 2023, Wallace led the nation in slugging percentage with an amazing .980 mark. She hit 19 home runs, seven doubles and drove in 55 runs for the Gators this spring.
The shortstop earned multiple honors in 2023 to recognize her offensive production, including First-Team All-American.
In 2024, Wallace not only has the ability to be the best power hitter in the nation, but also the best overall player in the nation.
Coffel led the nation in OPS during her junior season at Kentucky. A 1.595 OPS secured Coffel as a top slugger in the country in 2023. She's hit over 15 home runs and collected over 50 RBIs in all three seasons of her college softball career to date.
Her on-base percentage skyrocketed during her junior year, going from an average of .466 her first two seasons to .629 in her third. Coffel has been named to the All-SEC squad in all three seasons she has played in the conference.
In 2024, we expect to see Coffel continue her power surge as one of the country's best hitters.