June 24, 2024

Five top UW softball players reportedly entering transfer portal

Less than a week after the Washington softball team’s season ended with a loss in an NCAA tournament regional, five Huskies have reportedly entered the transfer portal. This includes their only two returning pitchers and three of their top hitters. According to multiple reports, sophomore pitcher Ruby Meylan, a third-team All-American last year and all-Pac-12 this past season, and freshman pitcher Sidne Peters, expected to lead UW’s pitching staff next season, are now in the portal. Also entering the portal, according to reports including Softball America, are junior shortstop Rylee Holtorf, a three-year starter and first-team All-Pac-12 this past season, three-year starting infielder/outfielder Kinsey Fiedler, and junior catcher Olivia Johnson, who has mostly been a starter in her three seasons. A Husky softball program spokesman stated the program does not comment on players who enter the portal.

Husky coach Heather Tarr also faced another loss as Victoria Hayward, a former UW player under Tarr, left her position as hitting coach to become head coach at Nevada. Amid speculation about Tarr possibly leaving UW, she tweeted on Friday, “It’s a great day to be a Dawg!”

Why did 8 top UW softball players enter the transfer portal? | The Seattle  Times

It has indeed been a tough month for Husky softball, which ended the season 32-15. The team was ranked in the top 10 for most of the season and was expected to be a top-16 seed, if not a top-eight seed, in the NCAA tournament. However, a four-game losing streak, including an 11-3 loss to Arizona in the Pac-12 tournament’s opening round, prevented the Huskies from being seeded. Washington was sent to the Columbia (Missouri) Regional, where they won their first game before being eliminated with two straight losses, the last to regional host Missouri. The Huskies, with Meylan as their top pitcher, reached the Women’s College World Series last season. They won their opener against Utah, with Holtorf hitting a key homer, but then lost their next two games.

Meylan had an impressive freshman season with an 18-7 record and a 2.14 ERA, but her performance declined this past season, finishing 9-10 with a 2.55 ERA. Walks were a problem, as she allowed 55 in 122 2/3 innings compared to 52 in 180 innings the previous year. Nevertheless, Meylan was expected to anchor next year’s staff alongside Peters, who earned all-Pac-12 freshman honors after going 8-1 with a 3.35 ERA.

Holtorf, Fiedler, and Johnson have been key players for UW since their arrival as highly touted recruits, all making the all-Pac-12 freshman team in 2022. Johnson made an immediate impact, reaching base 14 times and hitting three homers with seven RBIs and five intentional walks early in her freshman year. She finished that season hitting .267 with 11 home runs, struggled as a sophomore with a .207 average and four homers, but rebounded to hit .300 with four home runs this past season.

Holtorf improved offensively over her three seasons, hitting .228 as a freshman with one homer, .277 with five homers last season, and .336 with 11 home runs this season, second-best on the team. Fiedler, who played every position except pitcher and right field, also saw her average improve each season, hitting .336 this season, tied for third on the team, with seven home runs.

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