The class of 2025 got its start on Sunday evening with a player who should make Arizona softball fans happy. Rylie Holder, a right-handed pitcher from Flushear, Tex., made her announcement on social media late in the evening of Sept. 17, 2023.
Holder gives the Wildcats a start with the most important position on the field, but she also plays first base and is sure to put in her Twitter biography that she’s a hitter. She also suggests that Arizona is, in fact, looking in new places for impact players.
Fulshear is on the western edge of the Houston metro area, a place where Arizona doesn’t traditionally get a lot of players. Holder will play travel ball for Impact Gold Jackson 18U in Pearland, Tex. this season. She has played high school softball for Fulshear High School, although her Twitter bio indicates she’s at East Bernard High School now.
Over her freshman and sophomore seasons at Fulshear, she hit .336 and knocked in 25 runs in 49 games played. As a freshman, she pitched 94 innings with a 2.31 ERA. Her innings dropped to 45.1 as a sophomore and she made just 11 appearances compared to 24 as a freshman. Her ERA rose to 3.09.
In travel ball, Holder played for Impact Gold Jazz 16U last season. The team was the national runners-up of the Tier 1 Alliance Fastpitch Championship Series in July.
Tough end to the season but we still ended up as @thealliancefp 16u Tier-1 runner up. Loved playing with a bunch of ballers who always had each others back. So proud of the way we fought all season. @Jazz16u @jazzvesely pic.twitter.com/qFfni39i8R— Rylie.Holder (@RylieHolder14) August 1, 2023
Impact Gold has not been a hotbed for Pac-12 talent, let alone Arizona. The only players from the club to end up in Pac-12 uniforms in recent years are class of 2023 Washington commit Sidne Peters and class of 2021 Stanford recruit Camryn Carmouche. Of the major conferences, the SEC and Big 12 have been more likely to pick up players from the club.
The Arizona coaching staff, which includes two new coaches who aren’t originally from the Western U.S., spoke about the possibility of doing more recruiting in other parts of the country when they met with the media two weeks ago.
“Arizona has got a brand,” said assistant coach Josh Bloomer. ”We have a brand that sells itself across the country, and I think our job is to just go find the best players that we can find...Arizona and California is where the majority of the kids will come out of at this point, but I think being from back East, I just know that there was a drive to catch the schools from out West...when I was coaching at the travel ball level, that was one of the things that was talked about. Proving that we could play with the teams. I mean, I just think it’s, you know, the popularity of the sport’s grown. Just a lot of the weather in some of those places...they’re playing year-round now.”
Highlights of Holder can be found on her Sports Recruits page.
Arizona head coach Caitlin Lowe indicated on X (Twitter) that there would be news about commitments coming soon.
It’s a GREAT day to be a Wildcat! pic.twitter.com/lxHgzZa7Ll— Caitlin Lowe (@CaitlinLowe) September 18, 2023
Shortly after the first post, she posted a second hint, likely indicating another player has given her pledge to Arizona.
Like a REALLLLLY Great day to be a Wildcat! BearDown pic.twitter.com/jo0sUzMGtE— Caitlin Lowe (@CaitlinLowe) September 18, 2023
Several players appear to have taken official visits this weekend, including Sinalei Savea.