Who are some of the top area fall softball players to watch heading into this season? Find our top eight below.
This list also appears in the O-Zone Fall Preview Magazine featuring more names. The magazine is available at all area Casey’s General Stores. CLICK HERE FOR A FULL LIST OF ADVERTISER LOCATIONS WHERE THE MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE.
*This list is in alphabetical order.
Izzy Erickson, Reeds Spring, Junior
Erickson is the reigning O-Zone Player of the Year after an outstanding sophomore season. Erickson controlled the game in the circle posting a 13-5 record with a 1.44 ERA and 185 strikeouts in 117 innings pitched. She also posted a 1.05 WHIP. At the plate, Erickson hit .570 with 25 steals, 29 runs and 29 RBIs for the Lady Wolves.
Haley Frillman, Hillcrest, Senior
Frillman will play third base this year, but her bat is what the area’s pitchers are most concerned about. She hit .512 last season with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs, which helped her to post a 1.553 OPS. In addition, she added eight doubles and 26 runs scored.
Kaesha George, Monett, Junior
Monett won the Class 3 state championship last season and George was a big reason why. She earned first-team all-state and all-region honors for her work in the outfield. The junior hit .477 on the season. George also is one of the area’s best athletes as a standout on the basketball court and state champion javelin thrower.
Kylie Helm, McDonald County, Senior
Helm is on pace to put her name all over the MSHSAA career record book. The McDonald County catcher hit .505 with 38 RBIs, 20 runs scored and eight steals last year. Most impressively, Helm did not strikeout once last year in 108 plate appearances. She earned second-team all-region honors as a junior.
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Sydney Miller, Willow Springs, Senior
Few players will be as important to their team this year as Miller. She was named second-team all-state last year as a pitcher. She posted a 17-7 record with a 2.47 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 147.1 innings pitched as a junior. She also is a threat at the plate after hitting .525 last season.
Nya Morgan, Ozark, Senior
Whoever takes over in the circle for Ozark this year will have a great catcher to throw to in Nya Morgan. Morgan was a unanimous first-team all-conference selection and first-team all-region selection last season. She hit .474 with 15 home runs, 37 RBIs and 19 runs scored while posting a 1.542 OPS.
Kaitlin Ragsdale, Republic, Sophomore
Ragsdale is one of the fastest softball players in southwest Missouri. She made an immediate impact on Republic as a freshman by hitting .476 and stealing 42 bases with another 37 runs scored. She earned a unanimous first-team all-conference selection along with a first-team all-region selection. The Republic sophomore was the only freshman selection to the All-COC Large First-Team.
Shelby Webster, Camdenton, Senior,
Webster isn’t only one of the best bats in the Ozarks, but one of the region’s elite fielders as well. Playing short and third, her power at the plate (21 XBH, 10 HR, 1.575 OPS) is matched by her arm on the left side of the infield. She hit .546 with 37 RBIs and 38 runs scored on her way to first-team all-conference and all-region honors.