Softball Rocked by Transfer Portal

softball rocked by transfer portal

Washington Softball just concluded their worst postseason in over 20 years after failing to make it to even the Regional Finals. That it had been over two decades since the last time that happened speaks to the incredible consistency that Husky softball has achieved under head coach Heather Tarr. But next year’s UW team won’t be nearly as consistent as it appeared when the season ended a few days ago as news came out this afternoon that the program has been rocked with departures.

The news began with word that Husky assistant coach Victoria Hayward was leaving to take the head coaching job at Nevada. The former UW star spent just one season with Washington as an assistant after joining from San Diego State. That move was worthy of celebration rather than concern. Hayward clearly has aspirations to be a high level softball coach and she has now gotten the chance to the next step towards that goal. If she has success at Nevada then she’ll likely be among the candidates to succeed Heather Tarr when she eventually decides to call it a career.

Things fell apart though when Softball America announced that SS Rylee Holtorf, 3B Kinsey Fielder, and P Sidne Peters had all entered the transfer portal. They shortly after announced that C Olivia Johnson had also entered.

Holtorf is the biggest loss of that group. She finished the season hitting .336 with a 1.052 OPS and 11 HR while playing elite defense at shortstop. Rylee would have entered next season as one of the likely faces of the team. Fellow infield-mate Kinsey Fiedler also had a career best season at the plate hitting .336 with a .984 OPS and 7 HR while finishing 4th in total at bats on the season.

Washington is bringing a lot of highly regarded infielders for next season with multiple top-25 national recruits who can hopefully play early in a significant role. It is still a massive blow to lose both Holtorf and Fiedler.

Sidne Peters was the 3rd on the team in innings pitched this season as a true freshman and finished the year with an 8-1 record and a 3.35 ERA. She had 70 strikeouts and 37 walks across 62.2 innings. With the loss of Peters to the transfer portal and Lindsay Lopez and Brooke Nelson to graduation it means that Ruby Meylan is the only pitcher on the roster currently slated to return. Washington is adding highly regarded recruit Morgan Reimer as a freshman but now it is mandatory that the Huskies find a couple of arms in the portal in return.

Olivia Johnson had one of the best starts to a career in softball history. She homered in each of her first two career at bats back in 2022 and after 3 games was 6/6 with 2 HR, 8 RBI, and 3 BB. Unfortunately, she struggled for the most part after that point and too often failed to make contact. She finished the year with 20 strike outs in just 90 at bats hitting .300 with 4 HR and 21 RBI. Sidney Stewart had clearly taken control of the starting catching job so Johnson’s path was likely blocked to more consistent playing time.

Here is a breakdown of the Husky roster for next season at the moment in order of at bats/innings pitched.

Hitters:

INF Rylee Holtorf- Portal

INF Jilian Celis- Graduation

OF Alana Johnson- Currently Returning

INF Kinsey Fielder- Portal

OF Avery Hobson- Graduation

INF Brooke Nelson- Graduation

OF Brooklyn Carter- Currently Returning

C Sidney Stewart- Currently Returning

C Olivia Johnson- Portal

INF Giselle Alvarez- Currently Returning

C Jadyn Glab- Currently Returning

UTIL Jing Gardner- Currently Returning

C Haley Winckler- Currently Returning

OF Piper Tedrow- Currently Returning

Pitchers:

P Ruby Meylan- Currently Returning

P Lindsay Lopez- Graduation

P Sidne Peters- Portal

P Brooke Nelson (also in hitters section)- Graduation

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