Mollyann Runyon
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Derrick Webb

Derrick is SOSA's chief content coordinator and has worked for the Chillicothe Gazette, the Portsmouth Daily Times and Eleven Warriors. He's a 13-time award-winning journalist, a self-proclaimed baseball purist, a suffering Bengals fan and has never met a stranger.

SOFTBALL: 15 players to watch for this spring

These 15 players are poised for big years on the diamond.

Derrick Webb, Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

Believe it or not, the end of another school year is near, and that means softball season is back in full swing — pun intended.

After a long winter, the girls of spring are ready to take the field once again and we expect big things from an array of clubs in Southern Ohio.

As we get reacquainted with the softball diamond, here’s a list of 10 players in our coverage area, and in no particular order, to keep an eye on this spring if they get the chance to compete.

NOTE: This certainly does not mean there aren’t other players who will have great seasons. This is simply a list of 15 players we’ve randomly compiled.

Maddie Entler, Notre Dame

Entler is an absolute terror with the bat in her hands. The senior will be coming off a season in which she hit .495 with an on-base percentage of .558 and an OPS of 1.239. Add nine doubles, four triples, 45 hits and 42 runs scored, and you’ve got one of the area’s best leadoff spots.

Ava Dettwiller, Unioto

When Dettwiller swings, she does it with all her might. Pitchers are at the receiving end of that punishment. She’s solid at her first base position and she’s intimidating on the offensive side. She’ll try to lead Unioto to a second straight district title.

Kahmil Martin, Ironton

If there had been a list of the area’s best freshmen last spring, Martin may have been at the top. She’s as quick as it gets, can hit for contact and power, and is a wizard with her glove. She’s an elite talent and will be anchoring Ironton’s shortstop shop for some time. Remember the name.

Maddie Childers, Wellston

The Rockets’ backstop made a name for herself as soon as she stepped onto the diamond. As a freshman, Childers hit eight home runs alongside 38 RBIs and 51 base hits. That helped Wellston win 20 games and helped Childers garner all-district and all-state attention.

Sadie Binkley, Logan Elm

Binkley was magnificent last spring, posting 10 wins with a 2.27 ERA in 114 ⅓ innings of work. She struck out 160 batters, compared to just 38 free passes, and hit .460 with the bat in her hands for good measure. The Braves have a bright future. Binkley is a huge reason why.

Logan Elm’s Sadie Binkley hit .460 and posted a 2.27 ERA in the circle last spring.
CREDIT: Brock Netter/SOSA

Mollyann Runyon, Northwest

There’s something special about Runyon and she puts it on display every single night. She’s the most feared hitter in a Mohawk lineup that has proven to be dangerous over the past several seasons and has consistently hit well with runners in scoring position. You’ll want to keep an eye on her.

Rileigh Lang, Wheelersburg

Defensively, Lang is the best of the best. Offensively, she’s as underrated as they come. And she’s so much fun to watch. She’s played a humongous role in the Pirates’ back-to-back state championship runs as she looks to help the program lock up a three-peat this spring. 

Allie Grooms, Eastern Brown

To put her sophomore season in a nutshell, Grooms hit .527 with nine home runs and 45 RBIs. There’s no reason to expect anything to change this spring. That spells out success for Eastern Brown’s program. The Warriors have turned a corner. Grooms will again lead the charge 2024.

Ava Angel, Gallia Academy

The area’s softball future is in good hands. Angel is another reason why. As a freshman, she hit .447 and knocked in 37 runs while clubbing 11 homers — the most from a ninth grader in the state. Needless to say, Gallia Academy has something special in the middle of its lineup.

Faith Thornsberry, Waverly

Power. Speed. Strength. Thornsberry has it all. The Tigers’ shortstop has proven herself year after year and, heading into her senior season, she’ll look to continue that trend. She’s an all-district talent who’s already played in numerous big-game situations. Expect more of the same.

Kiera Williams, Adena

The reigning SVC Player of the Year has one season left to terrorize opposing pitchers. You can bet your bottom dollar that she’ll take advantage of that opportunity after hitting an SVC-high .624 alongside four home runs, 45 RBIs and 50 runs scored. She’s a bonafide five-tool player.

Vivian Morgan, Chillicothe

Chillicothe is planning to compete for an FAC title and Morgan has a lot to do with that journey. The Cavaliers’ infielder is a vacuum at her position but her talents also can’t be denied at the plate. She hit well over .300 as a freshman and consistently found ways to reach base safely.

Chillicothe’s Vivian Morgan will look to lead her Cavaliers this season.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

Macie Bradford, West

West has been a force to be reckoned with at the district level for years now. Bradford has been key to that effort over the past two. As a sophomore, she hit .353 while tallying 30 runs, 19 RBIs and 30 base hits. Those numbers helped the Senators finish 26-4 and win another district title.

Rylie Young, Manchester

Unless you haven’t been paying attention, you already know that Manchester’s program has enjoyed deep tournament runs over the past few seasons. In 2023, Young was the ringleader. She hit .500 with four homers and 36 RBIs while going 8-0 in the circle with a 2.35 ERA.

Addi Claxon, South Webster

At the plate, she’s a tough out and on the base paths, she can flat-out fly. In her first year on the diamond, Claxon helped the Jeeps make an Elite 8 appearance. She set the tone at the top of their lineup and almost always, her teammates followed. South Webster will again be in the mix.


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