From W.F. West's Kamy Dacus to Walla Walla's Tallulah Sickels, many of Washington’s top high school softball players pitch out of the circle.
Based on their recent pitching success, and on the recommendation of coaches throughout the state, here are SBLive’s 15 pitchers to watch in 2022 playoffs.
The list is broken up by classification, and names are listed in alphabetical order.
Ryan Grace, Skyline, senior
So, what does the 4A KingCo pitcher MVP (14-4, 1.73 ERA, 232 strikeouts in 137.2 IP) have going for her? Everything. The left-hander features a rise ball with giddy-up. And you are not going to out-think her - she is playing at Harvard next fall.
Grace Haegele, Redmond, senior
After an offseason injury, the Montana signee (9-3, 2.73 ERA, 92 strikeouts in 77 IP) was slow to round into form this spring. But once the hard thrower got going, so did the Mustangs in 4A KingCo. In conversation for best-stuff pitcher.
Maddie Milhorn, Skyview, freshman
By all accounts, this teenager is the next great one-stop, ERA-will-drop workhorse ace in southwest Washington. And the ninth grader has yet to taste defeat in high school (14-0, 0.44 ERA, 163 strikeouts in 80 IP).
Sami Potvin, Olympia, sophomore
Talk about workhorse, this all-4A SPSL first teamer takes the ball and never complains. And what is more impressive than her five-pitch arsenal is her can't-rattle-me composure. Bears rely on her (12-4, 2.10 ERA, 193 strikeouts in 110 IP).
Julianne Rose, Bothell, sophomore
The Cougars rely on a tandem in Taryn Bennett and Rose - whose hard stuff nears 70 mph. But her "out" pitch is a diving screwball who locks up 4A KingCo hitters (10-2, 2.41 ERA, 100 strikeouts in 69 IP). Up and comer.
Yanina Sherwood, Jackson, sophomore
Ask coaches who the best pitching prospect in the state is - and this high-velocity enforcer would get plenty of mention, especially after another spectacular performance (14-1, 1.23 ERA, 166 strikeouts in 108 IP).
Isabelle Welch, Puyallup, junior
Co-4A SPSL MVP from 2021 quickly put slow start behind her, and once again emerged as Vikings' leader (9-0, 1.84 ERA) in the circle. Fastball and drop ball are good; change-up is confounding for hitters.
Sarah Wright, Kentwood, sophomore
It's almost unfair how much movement this talented sophomore can create within her high-velocity pitches: They dance and dart. And few batters in the 4A NPSL could even touch her (14-0, 0.37 ERA, 246 strikeouts in 94 IP).
Tess Bumiller, Lake Washington, senior
Utah State signee attends The Bear Creek School, but calls the Kangs' program home for softball. And you are not going to see a more efficient zone-pounding delivery in Washington. Dominated the 3A KingCo (10-0 0.37 ERA, 154 strikeouts in 75.1 IP).
Alli Kimball, Peninsula, junior
Her best weapon? Belief. Kimball, the 3A SSC's top ace for the Seahawks (13-1, 0.52 ERA, 169 strikeouts in 80.1 IP), believes she is as good as there is in Washington. WWU commit authored back-to-back perfect games this spring.
Tallulah Sickels, Walla Walla, senior
There's no debate who the top softball player in the greater Tri-Cities' area is - it's this two-time MCC player of the year (13-1, 1.55 ERA). Loves to challenge batters with a mid-60s rise ball and baffling change-up pitch.
Kamy Dacus, W.F. West, senior (2A)
She started out as a fireballer. Now, this all-state performer is the complete pitcher who gets hitters out in a variety of ways (14-4, 1.75 ERA; given up one HR in 112 IP). She is 2A's most experienced big-game competitor.
Chloe Flerchinger, Shadle Park, senior (2A)
It's a pretty simple formula for the two-time 2A GSL player of the year ((6-2, 1.14 ERA, 86 strikeouts in 43 IP): Work fast, throw faster. This College of Idaho signee also has a lethal screwball and change-up, too.
Zoe Hardy, College Place, junior (1A)
Best small-school power pitcher? This is a name to consider, and she's performed well against elite bigger programs (10-5, 1.90 ERA, 110 strikeouts in 81 IP). Also has dancing change-up pitch, and was voted 1A SCAC East player of the year.
Olivia Matlock, Pe Ell/Willapa Valley, senior (2B)
As a year-round participant - and arguably the classification's best two-way player - Matlock has been through the wars (9-2, 1.78 ERA, 88 strikeouts in 55 IP). St. Martin's signee gets great movement on screwball and curveball.
Others to watch: Taryn Bennett, Bothell, jr.; Lilly Camp, Aberdeen, fr.; Bella Carazo, Bonney Lake, soph.; Ella Ferguson, Tumwater, fr.; Leslie Hines, Eastlake, sr.; Faith Jordan, Glacier Peak, jr.; Courtney Miller, Ferris, sr.; Maggie O'Leary, Kamiakin, sr.; Rylee Rehbein, Battle Ground, jr.; Jordyn Relethford, Nooksack Valley, sr.; Crimson Rice, Shadle Park, soph.; Kiana Rios, Warden, sr.; DJ Symons, Roosevelt, sr.