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Ponca City Wildcats 2023 Softball Preview – Presented by: Tom Henley – Shelter Insurance

Coach: JENEVA NELSON

Ponca City head coach Jeneva Nelson has high hopes this season for a team that a big turnaround last year, going 27-14. “Young, talented and hungry. This team is primarily young players that will play for a few more seasons,” Nelson said. “This past year they completely flipped their record, had 25 postseason awards, and made it to the regional finals.

Our team is filled with talent and will definitely fight to achieve more this season.” Sophomore-to-be outfielder and VYPE Top 100 nominee Ja’Kiya Colbert has a huge upside after shining as a freshman. “Ja’kiya led our team in steals last year and was a leader in the outfield. She is one of the fastest in 6A and has a cannon for an arm,” Nelson said. “She threw multiple runners out from the fence and will be one to watch over the years. She is only a sophomore so had lots of time to grow.”

Left-handed pitcher Bri Meyer returns as the top arm in the circle. “She is a lefty with great precision and speed. She was voted pitcher of the year for 6A,” Nelson said. “She was in the circle for most of our wins. She is a leader on and off the field and made things happen when we needed them most.”

Sophomore catcher Audrey Varner bounced back from an ACL last year and played a big role. “[Audrey] had a 45.5 percent caught stealing percentage. She is a wall behind the plate and a triple threat on offense,” Nelson said. “She can hit, bunt, and is fast enough to steal. She got voted catcher of the year this past season.” Junior third baseman Adisyn Ivers will be counted on to provide continued leadership. “Adisyn is a leader. She is small but mighty,” Nelson said. “She led the team in sacrifices last year, something most kids don’t want to do because they love power, but she put the team on her back and did what was asked of her without hesitation every time and won us so many games because of it.”

Shortstop/utility player Madelyn Blackstar is one of four seniors on this year’s roster. “Madelyn is a kid you are lucky to have on your team and someone you are lucky to have as your teammate,” Nelson said. “She does the right thing when people are watching and when they aren’t. She is the first to tell someone they’re doing a good job, and what they could do better. She holds people accountable but is also the one anyone can go to for advice or a shoulder to cry on. She is a great athlete but an even more amazing person.”

Other seniors are Sanaya Rabb, Taylor Hurd and Alex Zimmerschied. Caitlin Cooper, Camila Bohon, Ashley Griffin and Taylor Rahlf are juniors who play roles. Other Sophomore include Mashta Littlecook, Baylee Stewart, Kadence Elliot and Kodi Elam. Natalia Good, Katie Bohon and Marli Arbona will contribute as freshmen.

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