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Iowa's best high school softball players: Meet the state's top outfielders

Some of the top outfielders in Iowa prep softball
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By Barry Poe 

With the high school softball season getting underway, SBLive is looking at the best players in Iowa. In our final installment, we feature outfielders across all classifications. The state is loaded with talented outfielders and many of these excel at other positions as well. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list as there are hundreds of outstanding outfielders statewide.

Keiana Gidoo, Des Moines East, Sr.

Gidoo earned second-team all-state honors as a junior last season. She is enjoying a stellar senior season, hitting .398 with five home runs and 36 RBIs, 15 extra-base hits and 32 runs.

Kelsey Palmer, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Sr.

Another second-team all-state honoree by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union a year ago. The DMACC signee has a .424 batting average and a team-high 27 runs this season.

Kira Draeger, Johnston, Sr.

Draeger is the No. 1 pitcher for the second-ranked Class 5A team in the state with a 17-3 record. A second-team all-state pick as a junior, Draeger plays the outfield when she is not in the pitcher's circle.

Maleah Walker, Oskaloosa, Jr.

The speedster was a second-team all-state selection as a sophomore. This season, she has stolen 21 bases in as many attempts and has a .313 average with a team-leading 26 runs.

Addie Brown, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Sr.

Brown made third-team Class 3A all-state last season and has continued to excel for a team that is ranked 13th in the latest IGHSAU 3A poll. Brown leads the Warriors with a .477 average and 14 stolen bases while scoring 37 runs.

Jaylynn Brandt, Norwalk, Soph.

Already a third-team all-stater as a freshman, Brandt has continued to shine during her sophomore campaign. She is second on her team with 19 RBIs to go with 27 runs and a .319 average for a squad that is 25-7. 

Nadia Telecky, Mount Vernon, Sr.

Telecky was a first-team all-state pick last season and is batting .431 with a .519 OBP for the top-ranked team in Class 3A. Telecky’s mother, Paige, is the longtime pitching coach at Coe College.

Regan Faber, Roland-Story, Jr.

Coming off a sophomore season in which she earned second-team Class 3A all-state honors, Faber is hitting .328 with 14 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. She has scored a team-high 39 runs for the 14th-ranked (3A) Norsemen.

Isabel Bernard, Sumner-Fredericksburg, Frosh.

One of the top young players in the state, Bernard was a second-team all-state pick in her first high school season as an eighth-grader. This year, she leads the state with 56 steals (58 attempts) and is batting .438 with a homer and 10 RBIs.

Shannon Finn, Williamsburg, Soph.

Another major stolen base threat, Finn has swiped 27 bags in 32 tries this season after earning second-team 3A all-state accolades as a freshman. Finn leads the third-ranked Raiders with a .475 average and has scored 34 runs.

Rachel Barton, Saydel, Sr.

Barton slugged nine home runs and drove in 43 as a sophomore to earn third-team all-state honors. She has played in just two games, however, this season for No. 7 Saydel.

Sydney Roe, Assumption, Sr.

The Kirkwood CC commit has put up some impressive numbers after a junior season in which she was named third-team Class 3A all-state. Roe not only leads the Knights with a .527 batting average, but has six homers, 39 RBIs, a .581 OBP and an .871 slugging percentage.

Kaylea Fessler, Central Springs, Sr.

Central Springs is 27-1 and was No. 1 in the final Class 2A rankings of the season by the IGHSAU. Fessler has done just about everything for a school that has made seven straight trips to the state tournament. The returning first team all-stater has a .534 average, seven home runs, 39 RBIs, .886 slugging percentage and six pitching wins.

Sam Nielsen, North Union, Sr.

Nielsen is hitting .530 with 32 RBIs and 56 runs for the second-ranked (Class 2A) Warriors. A first-team all-stater last season, Nielsen is tied for third in the state in runs.

Payton Ganzer, Wilton, Sr.

An Upper Iowa University recruit, Ganzer is hitting .333 with 12 RBIs for the seventh-ranked team in Class 2A. Ganzer made the first team all-state squad as a junior.

Payton Souhrada, Wilton, Sr.

The other half of Wilton’s one-two punch, Souhrada has slugged six home runs and driven in 34 while batting .458 this season. Souhrada has signed to play softball at Cornell College.

Emri Agne, Pella Christian, Jr.

Agne was named to the Class 2A all-state second team as a sophomore, helping the Eagles to a third-place finish in the state tournament. This season, she is batting .585 with six home runs, 18 RBIs, 27 steals and 37 runs.

Ella Sand, West Central Valley, Soph.

Sand landed on the IGHSAU Class 2A all-state third team as a freshman. She leads her team with a .481 batting average to go with 38 steals in 39 attempts, 27 RBIs and 39 runs.

MaKayla Haynes, West Monona, Sr.

Haynes has driven in 45 runs for the ninth-ranked (Class 2A) Spartans. Named to the all-state third team last season, Haynes sports a .365 average with three homers and 16 stolen bases for the recently crowned Western Valley Conference tournament champions.

Emma Nibaur, Iowa City Regina, Sr.

Nibaur has already cast her lot with the University of Dubuque softball program. The returning third team all-state selection is most noted for her pitching, with a 14-7 record and 119 strikeouts, but she is also hitting .365 with 16 RBIs.

Chloe Colt, Akron-Westfield, Sr.

Colt has been a mainstay for the tradition-rich Westerners for her entire high school career. She made third team all-state as a junior and has 35 hits in 87 at-bats this season for a .402 average for No. 12 Akron-Westfield.

Lauren Donlea, East Buchanan, Sr.

A multi-sport standout, Donlea was named third team Class 1A all-state in softball last season. She has a .321 average with two home runs and 23 runs this season.

Claire Schroeder, Remsen St. Mary’s, Soph.

Schroeder ranks among the state leaders with a .596 batting average. The talented 10th grader has stolen 53 bases in 56 attempts and scored 51 runs. St. Mary’s was No. 5 in the final 1A state rankings.

Bailie Kroll, Waukee Northwest, Sr.

Kroll is the leading hitter for the No. 1-ranked Class 5A team in the state. She has a .516 average, 17 RBIs and 38 runs.

Riley Kious, Winterset, Sr.

Kious has a .400 batting average with 24 RBIs and 32 runs for a Huskies team that is 31-4. Winterset has won 16 games in a row.