Skip to main content

Ohio's top high school softball players: Meet the state’s best pitchers

Who are the top pitchers in Ohio high school softball this season?
Lexi Paulsen photo by Gabe Haferman

Lexi Paulsen photo by Gabe Haferman

Over the past few weeks, we've been featuring some of the top softball players in Ohio.

We started with the top first basemen, then second basemen, shortstops, third basemen, and catchers and outfielders.

And last but certainly not least, here are the top pitchers.

There are hundreds of outstanding pitchers in Ohio, and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive! Tag us on Twitter or Instagram at @SBLiveOH and let us know about other athletes worthy of fans’ attention.

Note: Many high school softball players excel at multiple positions. Don't be alarmed to see a starting shortstop or first baseman listed here as a pitcher, for example.

Gabby Adams, Grove City, senior

The Ohio Capital Conference player of the year was 25-2 with a 2.38 ERA last season. She also hit .535 with 12 home runs, 13 doubles and 62 RBI to earn second-team all-Ohio honors. She has committed to the University of Rio Grande.

Addison Arnold, Bryan, senior

The Division II first-team all-Ohio selection went 21-2 with 209 strikeouts in 134.1 innings pitched and a 1.77 ERA. At the plate, she hit .469 with 10 doubles and 16 RBIs. A hard worker, she put in hours and hours of work during the offseason. She is a great leader and someone her teammates can always rely on. She is a varsity athlete in three sports (soccer and basketball as well as softball) and is the top student in her senior class.

Masy Baker, Conotton Valley, sophomore

As a pitcher she recorded 195 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.36 last season. She also had the second-highest fielding percentage of .915 while being named second-team all-Ohio as a freshman. She led the team with a .571 batting average, seven home runs, 16 doubles and 47 RBIs.

Kendyll Cahill, Groveport Madison, senior

Cahill earned second-team all-Ohio honors with 331 strikeouts last season and was also named the OCC Buckeye co-player of the year. She tossed her first career perfect game on April 15 in a 10-0 win over Reynoldsburg. She struck out 12 of the 15 hitters she faced and missed the strike zone just seven times in 52 tosses.

Lillian Cassell, Keystone, senior

Earned first-team all-Ohio honors by going 30-1 in in the circle with an ERA of 1.35 and 255 strikeouts. She helped lead Keystone to the Division II state championship, throwing a shutout in the semifinals and then earning the win in the state championship game. She is committed to Northern Illinois University.

Carsyn Cassady, Watkins Memorial, sophomore

As just a freshman, she was named second-team all-Ohio in Division I and helped Watkins Memorial reach the state title game. She picked up a win in the state semifinals and then allowed just one run in the state championship game in which Watkins Memorial lost 1-0 to Massillon Perry. On the season, she was 27-2 with a 1.24 ERA and 240 strikeouts.

Haley Ferguson, Beavercreek, sophomore

Led the Greater Western Ohio Conference with a 0.95 ERA and 281 strikeouts last year to earn all-GWOC first-team honors and all-Ohio second-team honors. She also threw seven shutouts last season. She picked up this season where she left off, tossing a one-hit, 10-strikeout game in the season opener.

Riley Fugett, Chaminade Julienne, junior

Earned honorable mention all-Ohio last season with a 1.35 ERA and averaged nearly two strikeouts per inning pitched. She hit .582 with 11 doubles and 29 RBIs.

Avery Gottlieb, Oak Hills, junior

As a sophomore, she struck out 232 hitters to lead the Highlanders to a 21-8 season. She also hit .446 facing some of the toughest pitchers in the state within the Greater Miami Valley Conference. She was honorable mention all-state, second-team all-district and pitcher of the year in the GMC. A leader on the mound, Gottlieb wants the ball in her hands come crunch time. She is a Lourdes University commit.

McKenna Headley, Crooksville, senior

A second-team all-Ohio selection in Division III, Headley was 16-3 with a school-record 124 strikeouts. At the plate, she set school records in batting average (.512) and home runs (nine), while driving in 35 runs. She was named first-team all-Muskingum Valley League and was the MVL pitcher of the year. She is committed to Findlay and in the conversation of being the best ever to come out of Crooksville.

Marlee Jacobs, Jonathan Alder, senior

Named second-team all-Ohio with a 20-2 record and a 0.68 ERA, she had 188 strikeouts in 133 innings pitched. As a freshman in 2019, she helped Jonathan Alder to the Division II state championship as a starting pitcher. She has committed to Ohio Dominican University.

Ashleigh James, Athens, junior

Posted a record of 11-4 with 87 strikeouts last season and hit .342 with two homers and 32 RBIs at the plate to earn first-team all-Ohio honors in Division II.

Sydnee Koosh, North Canton Hoover, senior

She went 18-7 with a 1.89 ERA last season. The Robert Morris University commit struck out 244 batters in 179 innings pitched to help lead Hoover to a district championship. She was among the Stark County leaders in innings pitched, ERA and strikeouts as a junior.

Genevieve Longsdorf, Cardington, sophomore

Earned first-team all-Ohio accolades as a freshman when she won 24 games in the circle with a 1.32 ERA with 192 strikeouts. She also hit .500 at the plate last season. She has led Cardington to a 9-1 start this season.

Brooke Mannon, West Jefferson, junior

The second-team all-Ohio selection started 22 games in the circle last season and threw 151.1 innings with 241 strikeouts. She finished with 14 wins and an ERA of 1.43. Offensively, she hit .451 with four homers. She has committed to the University of Arizona.

KK Mathis, Lakota West, senior

The Greater Miami Conference player of the year was 20-2 with a 1.97 ERA and 191 strikeouts last season. Offensively, she led the GMC with 13 homers, 50 RBIs and 29 extra-base hits while hitting .519. Her performance earned her first-team all-Ohio honors in Division I.

Sydney McDermott, Portsmouth West, junior

Picked up 15 wins in the circle last season with a 1.46 ERA and a school-record 295 strikeouts. Her eye-popping numbers as a sophomore earned her a spot on the Division III all-Ohio first team, as well as the honor of Southern Ohio Conference pitcher of the year.

Lauren McFarland, Martins Ferry, senior

McFarland was named the Ohio Valley Athletic League Division II player of the year with a record of 10-3 in the circle. She also hit .452 with five doubles and 31 RBIs. Her numbers earned her a second-team all-Ohio selection.

Julia Miller, New Philadelphia, senior

As a junior, she earned first-team all-Ohio honors with a 20-4 record and was named the East Central Ohio League player of the year. In her two seasons before this year in the circle, she has amassed 530 strikeouts with six no-hitters. She has added to that total with a perfect game on April 8 this season when she struck out 13 batters in an 8-0 win over Dover. She has signed to play college softball at Ohio State.

Keegan Moore, Ironton, senior

Was named the Ohio Valley Conference player of the year and first-team all-Ohio in Division III last season. She has over 500 strikeouts in her two seasons of high school softball (2020 canceled) and started this season with a 14-strikeout, one-hit performance in the season opener. She has committed to Ohio University.

Lexi North, Otsego, senior

The first-team all-Ohio Division III selection has somehow gotten even better this season. In the first six games of the year (all Otsego wins), North pitched 37 innings and struck out 92 hitters, allowing just two hits total in those games. That includes a perfect game against McComb, when North struck out all 15 batters she faced in a 16-0 win.

Lexi Paulsen, Bloom-Carroll, senior

Was named first-team all-Ohio in Division II last season after going 17-1 with a 0.35 ERA and 280 strikeouts. At the plate, she hit .492 with five home runs. The Ohio State commit was the Mid-State League and Central District player of the year.

Bailey Sheets, Mohawk, junior

An honorable mention all-Ohio selection last season, she was 21-6 with a 2.05 ERA and 192 strikeouts in 163.2 innings pitched, helping Mohawk reach the regional semifinals. Her coach calls her a phenomenal student-athlete who works incredibly hard to be an amazing player and leader.

Savannah Smith, Reading, junior

After earning honorable mention all-Ohio honors as a sophomore, Smith has started off her junior year by being one of the area leaders in home runs and wins.

Maci Smythe, Bellevue, junior

With an ERA of 0.42 and 100 strikeouts in 50 innings last season, Smythe was named honorable mention all-Ohio. She also hit .500 at the plate and took home the honor of most outstanding performer in the Sandusky Bay Conference Lake Division.

Gwen Sparks, Notre Dame, sophomore

Combined with other Notre Dame pitchers to lead the Titans to a 23-1 record last season as a freshman. In her four games in the postseason, she struck out 44 hitters. She was named honorable mention all-Ohio.

Meghan Spencer, Logan, junior

Spencer was named first-team all-Ohio in Division I last year as well as the Southeast District player of the year. In a game against Nelsonville-York in April, she tossed her first high school no-hitter.

Amelia Spidell, Strasburg, sophomore

The second-team all-Ohio selection was 14-3 with 134 strikeouts in 105 innings pitched and hit .333 with 20 RBIs and 20 runs scored on the offensive side. The first-team Inter-Valley Conference honoree is a hard-throwing left-hander with excellent control who has the ability to change speeds and can throw any pitch in any count.

Lexi Sutton, Western Brown, junior

As a sophomore, Brown went 23-1 in the circle, leading Western Brown to a district title. She finished her sophomore campaign with a 2.49 ERA and 124 strikeouts. She has improved her ERA in the opening weeks of this season to under 1.50.

Carter Wachtel, Triway, sophomore

As a pitcher last season, she was 22-3 with 216 strikeouts and a 1.44 ERA. At the plate, she hit .575 with 73 hits, eight homers, 22 doubles and 48 RBIs. She was named second-team all-Ohio as a freshman and has already established herself as one of the best pitchers in the state. Her poise on the mound and the command of her pitches will allow her to challenge all of last season's accolades.

Mady Yackee, Holland Springfield, junior

The lefty was first-team all-Ohio last season after leading Holland Springfield to a league and district title. In the circle, she set a school record with 27 wins to go with a 1.60 ERA and 244 strikeouts (second-most in school history). She also hit .368 with four home runs and 32 RBIs and was named the Northern Lakes League player of the year. Her coach says she is committed to being the best teammate you could have and is all about the team. She will be playing college softball at the University of Toledo.