Top Pac-12 Newcomers To Watch In 2022
The Pac-12 is once again loaded with newcomer talent this year. Many of college softball's future stars will make their debuts in the Pac-12 in 2022 and have the potential to lead their teams to deep runs in the postseason and success at the Women's College World Series for several years to come.
See below for the top newcomers to watch in the Pac-12 this spring.
As the No. 4 player in Softball America’s 2021 Top 100 Recruiting Rankings, there are high hopes for Kinsey Fiedler as she enters her freshman campaign at the University of Washington. Fiedler, who originally committed to Missouri, ultimately chose in the fall of her junior year to move further away from her home state of Missouri and play for Heather Tarr.
A three-time Offensive Player of the Year at Lee’s Summit North High School, Fiedler led her high school squad to the state finals, compiling a senior year batting average over .400 and 1.578 OPS. Additionally, Fiedler broke her high school record for the most home runs in a season (17) during her senior campaign. She stands in second place for the most single-season home runs in the state of Missouri. Fiedler also excelled in travel ball, helping the Aces earn a top-five finish at PGF Nationals.
As one of the top middle infielders in her class, Fiedler should play a crucial role in Washington’s success this season.
Being the only Oregon-bound player in the top 30 of Softball America’s 2021 Top 100 Recruiting Rankings, many Ducks fans have been eagerly awaiting Stevie Hansen’s arrival to Eugene. As one of the top pitchers in her class, Hansen is likely going to play a crucial role in the Ducks’ pitching rotation.
Hansen put up extraordinary numbers as the star pitcher for California’s Norco High School, starting from her freshman season. As a sophomore, Hansen maintained a 0.13 ERA with 102 strikeouts and just one earned run in her 53 innings pitched. Hansen continued to be dominant for her entire high school career, earning herself CIF Southern Section Division 1 Player of the Year honors after her senior season.
Hansen will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact on Melyssa Lombardi’s pitching staff.
Joining Kinsey Fiedler at Washington is Rylee Holtorf, the top-ranked middle-infielder in Softball America’s 2021 Top 100 Recruiting Rankings. Earning a spot on the USA junior women's national team over several players who already played a year of college ball, Washington fans are excited to see what Holtorf will be able to accomplish in Seattle.
As the 2019-2020 Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year, Holtorf excelled during her high school years, leading her team to a state championship in 2019 and finishing her senior season with a .471 batting average, .663 on-base percentage and eight home runs in just 16 games. Holtorf, who knows what that championship feeling feels like, is hoping to help bring the Huskies back to OKC.
With Heather Tarr gaining the top two middle infielders in the class of 2021, there are high hopes for the Huskies this season.
As the No. 6 player—and second-highest ranked pitcher—in Softball America’s 2021 Top 100 Recruiting Rankings, there is excitement for Mac Morgan and the Sun Devils’ pitching staff this season. Morgan, who committed to Arizona State in the winter of her sophomore year, will be crucial to ASU’s success this season.
Morgan had a high school career full of accomplishments: Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year, Class 2 state champion and Boulder IDT champion. She was a dominant force on her high school’s pitching staff, maintaining a 0.12 ERA when she led her team to the state championship. Morgan, who reached 1,000 strikeouts and hit over 15 home runs in both her junior and senior seasons, is going to be a huge contributor to the Sun Devils.
Trisha Ford is likely going to rely on Morgan in both her offensive and defensive strategies this season and beyond. Already clocking in at high 60s and even reaching 70 mph, Morgan is prepared for the big role she will play in the circle—and in the batter’s box—this year.
Staying in her home state, Savannah Pola will take the field for UCLA this season. As the highest ranked Bruin freshman in Softball America’s 2021 Top 100 Recruiting Rankings, Pola, who committed to UCLA in eighth grade, is going to be an important addition to Kelly Inouye-Perez’s lineup.
During her four years on Godinez Fundamental High School’s varsity team, Pola recorded remarkable numbers, which continued to improve as her high school years went on. She finished her high school career with a .636 batting average, 168 hits and 139 runs scored. During her senior season, Pola finished with an extraordinary .707 batting average and .793 on-base percentage.
As someone who hits from the left side and can play both infield and outfield, it is likely that Bruin fans will have chances to see Pola in UCLA’s lineup in 2022.