As Arizona outfielder Ali Ashner prepared for senior day, she made statements indicating that she was moving on from softball. After five years in college softball and long rehabilitation from a knee injury early in her career, it made sense. Besides, despite being listed as a junior on the roster, Ashner was completing her degree.
“I think after this season, in the summer I’m just gonna take time to myself and see what life has to offer me,” Ashner said about her plans after the season. “It’s gonna be weird just having a summer and doing nothing.”
Those plans appear to have changed. Both Extra Inning Softball and D1 Softball list Ashner in their portal trackers. EIS notes her date of entry as Monday, May 22. She is currently the only player from Arizona in the portal according to both publications.
Ashner saw limited action in her second go-round with the Wildcats. She appeared in just 19 games, primarily as a pinch runner or pinch hitter. She had 26 at-bats and 29 plate appearances while making six starts.
Ashner had her average at a season-high .462 on April 1, but her relative lack of opportunities meant it didn’t take much to make it swing dramatically up or down. She ended the year with a .269 batting average. She had seven hits, three walks, three RBIs, and two runs scored.
It was Ashner’s second campaign as a Wildcat. She started her career as a walk-on with the team, but she was injured her freshman season. Former head coach Mike Candrea advised her to go somewhere she could start. She did that and became an NJCAA Division II Player of the Year and national champion at Phoenix College. After three years, she returned to Arizona to complete the circle.
Ashner and pitcher Ali Blanchard both graduated earlier this month. While Ashner took part in senior day activities along with Izzy Pacho and Breezy Hardy, Blanchard did not.