12 Delaware County softball players to watch in 2024

Multiple Blackhawks celebrate a strikeout by Cowan senior starting pitcher Tatum Rickert May 25 during the Sectional #55 championship game at Daleville Junior/Senior High School. Zach carter, DN.
Multiple Blackhawks celebrate a strikeout by Cowan senior starting pitcher Tatum Rickert May 25 during the Sectional #55 championship game at Daleville Junior/Senior High School. Zach carter, DN.

Disclaimer: The Ball State Daily News reached out to Muncie Central softball for this article. However, that request was never answered. 

With the 2024 Delaware County high school softball season beginning to kick off, the area’s coaches have sent in their picks for which players they expect to have a big impact throughout the season.   

Daleville

Head coach: Jeremy Pattengale 

2023 record: 8-11

Junior Valyn Pattengale  - catcher, shortstop

“Valyn hit .695 last year, had a 2.028 OPS, and slugged 1.305 with 41 total hits and 35 RBIs in only 18 games,” Pattengale said via email.” She was in the top five in the state in BA. She has been awarded two years in a row for All-Area, All-Conf, All-County, and All-State honors. 

“Not many smaller school kids get the honor.  She has been ranked in the top 100 catchers in the nation and has committed to play Division One softball for Bowling Green University. This one is one to watch for East Central Indiana Player of the Year this year.”

Senior Cali Pattengale - first base

“Cali has top-notch hitting in the cleanup spot for the Broncos,” Pattengale said. “Hitting behind her younger sister Valyn, it’s hard to get into RBI situations. She still managed to rack up 25 RBIs, hit .639 with a .672 OBP, and had 39 total hits in 18 games. Cali was in the top ten in the state for batting average last season. The All-Area and All-conference 1st baseman is signed to play at Owens College in Toledo.”

Delta

Head coach: Caitlyn Grim 

2023 record: 1-23

Senior Hannah Carter - senior catcher, outfielder

“[Carter] has improved her leadership skills, along with hitting,” Grim said via email. “I think that she will be an asset to the team both offensively with her power and in the outfield with her knowledge of the game and strength of her arm.”

Freshman Addie Smith - outfielder 

“She has an amazing work ethic. From day one, she is always putting in 110 percent,” Grim said. “I believe that she will be a huge asset to the team offensively as she is able to drive through a ball and hit the gaps… In the field, she is able to cover, and her knowledge of the game [helps her know] where to go with the ball.”

Yorktown 

Head coach: Jeremy Penrod 

2023 record: 17-9

Senior Ava McNally - third base, second base 

“Ava is a senior that is headed to Ball State after her senior season,” Penrod said via email. “Ava is a gritty competitor that shows leadership on and off the field. The team expects a lot from Ava and we have no doubt we will get her all.”

Senior Caitlin LeFerny - pitcher, first base, outfield 

“Caitlin is a senior and will be headed to Yale University after her senior season,” Penrod said. “Caitlin shows strong leadership and will be our anchor in the circle. Caitlin is a dedicated, cheerful and encouraging leader on this team. We look for Caitlin to continue her success in the circle and build on her offensive stats from last year.”

Wes-Del 

Head coach: Andy Swift 

2023 record: 16-12

Junior Kenzie Anderson - shortstop 

“Kenzie is our shortstop and has been since [her] freshman season, “Swift said via email. “She improved her batting average from .419 to .453 last year and in home runs from four to seven with a .885 slugging percentage. I see no reason she can’t raise those numbers again.”

Junior Bailee West - pitcher

“[West] had 94 Ks to 37 BB in 83 innings last year,” Swift said. “She also had our highest batting average at .532 and was second to Anderson with a .840 slugging percentage. Both tied with 38 RBI in 27 games.”

Cowan

Head coach: Curtis Bynum 

2023 record: 23-6

Senior Cheyenne Carter - second baseman

“Cheyenne is our second baseman,” Bynum said via text. “[She is also our] team captain who is a three-year starter and [a 2023] all-county honorable mention.”

Sophomore Taylor Young - utility player

“Taylor has played every position on the field,” Bynum said. “She is a returning starter and [a 2023] all-county honorable mention.”

Wapahani 

Head coach: Jeff Masters 

2023 record: 13-10

Senior Matilyn Rhoades - second base, short-stop

“[She] had her junior season cut short due to a season-ending injury,” Masters said via text. “She played 11 games and had 18 hits and a .450 batting average before she got injured. She is a leader on the field and off the field. She works hard every day trying to improve her game and in my opinion, she is one of the best players in the county. Definitely a talented young lady and someone who people should keep an eye on.”

Sophomore Zoey Koger  - pitcher, third base

“Zoe came in as a freshman and was thrown into the mix as our starting pitcher in 90 percent of our games and looks to be the same this year,” Masters said. “[She had] a solid freshman season, winning 12 of our 14 wins. Zoe had 31 hits with a [batting] average of .441 and seemed to hit better as the season went along… She is an all-in player that goes out and gives you everything she's got.” 

Contact Zach Carter with comments at zachary.carter@bsu.edu or on X @ZachCarter85.

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