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Iowa's best high school softball players: Meet the state's top third basemen

Some of the top third basemen in Iowa prep softball
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By Barry Poe 

With the high school softball season getting underway, SBLive is looking at the best players in Iowa. In our next installment, we feature third basemen across all classifications. The state is loaded with talented third basemen and many of these excel at other positions as well. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list as there are numerous outstanding third basemen statewide. 

Duanna Coyle, Cedar Rapids Xavier, Jr.

Cole made the Class 4A first team all-state squad as a sophomore, batting .439 with 38 RBIs and 37 runs scored. This season, she is leading the team with a .438 average, three home runs and 25 RBIs.

Elle Nelson, Dallas Center-Grimes, Sr.

As a junior last season, Nelson swatted six home runs and drove in 37 while batting an even .400 to earn Class 4A second team all-state honors. This year, she’s at .417 with three homers and 12 RBIs.

Bella Nelson, Gilbert, Sr.

Nelson earned second-team Class 4A all-state honors as a junior, batting .423 with four homers and 25 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.

Olivia Huckfelt, Spencer, Soph.

A breakout freshman season in which she collected 45 hits in 81 at-bats for a .556 average, Huckfelt was named to the Class 4A all-state third team. A girls state wrestling champion, Huckfelt launched 14 home runs and drove in 49 last season and has hit seven and driven in 32 this season.

Riley Johannes, PCM, Jr.

Johannes put together an all-state season as a sophomore in 2021, leading the Mustangs with a .442 batting average and 35 RBIs. She has improved to .509 this season with three homers and 22 RBIs.

Josie McCudden, Interstate 35, Sr.

McCuddin landed on the Class 2A all-state first team last season, hitting a hefty .464 with 10 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 32 RBIs. The junior is putting together another strong campaign, batting .483 with seven round-trippers and 23 RBIs.

Cassie Beadle, North Union, Sr.

Beadle was a second-team Class 2A all-stater as a junior, boasting a .555 batting average and 61 runs scored for a state tournament team. The Warriors are 22-3 nd ranked 15th by SBLive, with Beadle hitting .544 with 42 runs scored.

Jill Smith, North Linn, Sr.

A versatile performer who can play multiple positions, Smith helped the Lynx win the Class 2A state title last season with a .440 average, 10 homers and a team-high 56 RBIs. She has hit six homers and driven in 35 with a .410 average this season.

Devin Simon, Cascade, Jr.

The University of Iowa commit was a third-team Class 2A all-stater last season, hitting .451 with three homers and 28 RBIs while notching two pitching wins. Simon has a .493 average, six homers, 25 RBIs, 34 runs scored and a 3-0 pitching mark this season.

Abby Pate, Central Springs, Jr.

Pate put together a strong sophomore season, hitting .391 with four homers and 32 RBIs for a team that finished third in the Class 2A state tournament. She was a third team all-state pick.

Emily Jones, Wayne Sr.

Jones, who doubles as the pitcher and third sacker for the Falcons, will play softball at NIACC. She has a .515 average, six homers, 33 RBIs and a 7-2 pitching record after earning first team Class 1A all-state honors a year ago.

Shay Burmeister, Exira EHK, Jr.

An honorable mention all-stater last season, Burmeister is hitting .362 for a team that has a 19-2 mark and a perfect 14-0 record in the Rolling Hills Conference.

Morgan Nachazel, Springville, Sr.

The senior has a .348 average with five home runs and 22 RBI. Nachazel led the team with a .438 average and drove in 30 runs to earn third-team 1A all-state honors last season.

Caelor Yoder, Don Bosco, Jr.

Yoder is hitting a solid .452 with 21 stolen bases in as many attempts and a team-high 28 runs scored for the Dons. She was an honorable mention all-stater last season.

Reagan Mudderman, Kee, Sr.

Mudderman was one of the state’s leading scorers in basketball last winter, but hasn’t decided on college plans. She leads the Kee Hawks with a .552 average, has stolen 11 bases and notched seven pitching wins.

Breanna Nolte, Southeast Warren, Jr.

The No. 16 Warhawks (SBLive) have won 12 of their last 13 games and were a state tournament entry last season. Nolte is leading the way with a .519 average, seven homers, 32 RBIs and 28 runs scored.

Karly Millikan, Griswold, Soph.

One of the bright, young stars in the state, Miller is leading the 16-2 Tigers with a .453 batting average. She is also 8-1 in the pitching circle with 75 strikeouts and a 1.75 ERA.

Mallory Behnken, CAM, Sr.

An honorable mention all-state pick last season, Behnken got off to a fast start this season. She has, however, played in just 12 of her team’s 16 games this season with a .310 batting average.

Kiana Carnes, Waukee Northwest, Jr.

Carnes has been a sparkplug for the Warriors, No. 1 in the latest SBLive ratings and first in the IGHSAU Class 5A poll. The junior sports a .391 average, has driven in 16 and stolen 13 bases in 14 attempts.

Audrey Till, Johnston, Sr.

Till is batting .434 with two home runs and 28 RBIs.

Ysabel Lerma, Muscatine, Soph.

The talented 10th grader has smacked four home runs and driven in 20 for the Muskies, No. 7 in the SBLive ratings. Lerma is tied for the team lead with 27 runs scored and Muscatine is 25-2 overall.

Caelynn Obleton, Linn-Mar, Sr.

The Simpson College recruit is a threat to steal every time she reaches base with 22 steals in as many attempts. Obleton is batting an even .400 (40 for 100) with three homers and 30 RBIs, as well as 30 runs scored.

Rylee Carney, Saydel, Sr.

The No. 17 Eagles are flying along with a 23-2 record and won their first 20 games of the season. Carney is a steady performer at the plate with a .354 average, 10 steals and a team-high 27 runs.

Marki Bertelsen, Logan-Magnolia, Soph.

The Panthers are 24-0 on the season and have been successful in a remarkable 81 of 81 steals. Berkelsen has nine of those, as well as a .426 average, two homers and 20 runs scored.

Ava Crowley, Pleasant Valley, Soph.

The sophomore has two long balls and is batting .339 with 15 runs scored for eighth-ranked (Class 5A) Spartans.