Who needs California when you have Texas? That might be hyperbole because California will always have great softball players, but the impending move to a more Eastern-focused conference and the addition of coaches who come from other parts of the country seem to be paying off early for Arizona in the recruiting game.
For the second straight day, the Wildcats added a player to their 2025 class who plays in the Houston area for the Impact Gold Fastpitch travel organization. Utility player Addyson Sheppard, a top-five player in Extra Inning Softball’s 2025 class rankings, announced her commitment via social media on Monday night. She followed Impact Gold pitcher Rylie Holder whose announcement came on Sunday night.
While Sheppard is often referred to as a catcher, in 2021 EIS wrote that “she can play any position between the lines except for pitcher—and play them at the highest level.” She showed that in high school, playing shortstop for Kingwood High School.
When the 2025 rankings debuted in late 2021, EIS had Sheppard tied for fourth in the class. She has been as high as No. 2 in those rankings since.
The native of Humble, Tex. only has stats available on MaxPreps for the 2021-22 season. That year, she averaged .406 in 34 games as her team went 21-7 in the regular season. Her 96 at-bats through the entire season produced 39 hits, 42 RBIs, 11 doubles, and 12 home runs. Six of those hits, eight RBIs, and two home runs came during a six-game postseason run.
Although her stats are unavailable for the 2023 season, Sheppard and her team were right back in the playoffs last year. They lost in the regional quarterfinals to eventual state champions Pearland.
Sheppard is making her mark in the USA Softball ranks, too. She has participated in several USA Softball development programs stretching back to 2019.
Video highlights of Sheppard are available on her Sports Recruits profile.
In addition to Sheppard and Holder, Arizona had at least one more recruit on campus this past weekend. Sinalei Savea plays travel organization Athletics Mercado Academy.
In other pictures from her visit, Savea is shown with a class of 2025 player out of Hawai’i. On Sunday, that player had a profile on Sports Recruits that stated that she is a catcher and third baseman. However, she had not posted anything about the visit herself and her Sports Recruits profile had been removed by Monday evening, making it likely that only Savea was on an actual visit.
On Sunday evening, two separate tweets by head coach Caitlin Lowe indicated that the program had received two verbal commitments. One of those commitments was Holder. Whether the second was Sheppard or someone else isn’t entirely clear.
On Monday evening, assistant coach Josh Bloomer tweeted “Bear Down x2” around the same time Sheppard’s announcement came out. That could mean both of the Texas players or it could mean Sheppard and one additional commit, bringing the weekend total to three commitments. No one associated with the program can confirm that due to NCAA rules.
Nothing like capping off an evening with a Bear Down!!— Coach Josh Bloomer (@Coach_JBloomer) September 19, 2023