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Arizona softball recruiting: Washington Gatorade Player of the Year Sarah Wright commits, No. 3 player from the class of 2024 Ella McDowell takes an official visit

More pitching for the class of 2024

arizona-wildcats-softball-washington-gatorade-player-year-sarah-wright-2024-rhp-mcdowell-visit Photo by Ryan Kelapire

The recruiting game never stops. Arizona softball will sign a new class in November that consists of three pitchers and an infielder. Now, it’s time for the class of 2024, which is just now able to have contact with coaches. It’s off to a good start for Caitlin Lowe, Taryne Mowatt-McKinney, and Lauren Lappin.

More pitching!

Sarah Wright is exceptional. As a sophomore, she led Kentwood (WA) High to the Class 4A state quarterfinals by throwing eight no-hitters—including two perfect games—striking out 330 batters, and hitting six home runs in 22 games. It led to a laundry list of honors including 2021-22 Gatorade Washington Softball Player of the Year, a second straight selection as North Puget Sound League Pitcher of the Year, and 2022 MaxPreps Underclass All-American,

In 2024, she will add another honor to that list: Arizona Wildcat softball player. The junior announced her commitment to Caitlin Lowe’s program on Monday, Sept. 12.

Since suffering a down year in the circle for much of the 2022 season, Lowe and pitching coach Mowatt-McKinney have gone to work on improving that part of the roster. This season, they added freshman Syndney Somerndike and transfers Brianna Hardy and Ali Blanchard to complete the group led by Devyn Netz. The 2023 class has three pitchers: Aissa Silva, Brooke Mannon, and Ryan Maddox. Now, they have started to build the 2024 bullpen.

Wright plays travel ball for the Northwest Bullets 18 Gold - Campos club coached by Tony Campos. She is also a dual-sport athlete who has won the North Puget Sound League wrestling championship each of the past two years.

In the circle for Kentwood, Wright had an ERA of 0.33 while going 18-1 in 21 appearances during her sophomore season. She allowed just 26 hits and 26 walks all year. In two years, she has an ERA of 0.46 while going 26-2 in 30 appearances. In addition to her eight no-hitters in 2021-22, she had two no-hitters in the nine appearances her freshman season.

Perhaps her biggest achievement came in the district championship game. Wright took the circle against undefeated Skyview and proceed to throw a no-hitter while striking out 18.

Wright was also responsible for almost all of the Conquerers’ offense. She hit two home runs, driving in five runs in a 6-0 victory.


An official visit from the top middle infielder in the class

In other recruiting news, Arizona hosted MIF/UT Ella McDowell on her official visit over the weekend beginning Sept. 9. The Richmond, Tex. product is ranked third in the class of 2024 by Extra Inning Softball, which has her listed as a middle infielder and catcher, although she primarily plays shortstop.

EIS writes: “The sophomore is a good mix of speed, power and heart and her offensive numbers were strong against the best in her age group this summer: a .444 batting average, 10 home runs, 56 hits, 47 RBIs, and eight stolen bases. McDowell is from an athletic background and has benefited from her two parents who played and coach sports and coach sports. As a Freshman this year at Foster (Richmond, Texas) High, Ella started at shortstop and hit in the cleanup spot, producing huge offensive stats including a .541 batting average, a .605 on-base percentage, 61 RBIs, 17 home runs and a .978 fielding percentage.”

Click2Houston.com reported that McDowell originally played baseball, but the dads of the boys didn’t like that a girl was so good at hitting and she was told she couldn’t play with them anymore after two years.

Now she’s one of the best on the field in high school softball.