The high school softball landscape is a bit tricky to understand if you look at who plays what and when throughout the country. Five states play their ball fully in the fall, Mississippi has some teams who play in the spring and others who opt for the fall, Iowa plays in the summer, South Dakota still doesn't have sanctioned high school softball and the remaining states play in the spring.
Scratching your head yet?
Below is a look at the top projected team by MaxPreps in each state who will play high school softball in the spring. If you see a blank spot on the map, or think your home state is not represented, then likely they don't have softball running in the spring.
The Huskies return several of the key weapons who helped lead them to a 7A state championship in 2021. Kenleigh Cahalan
, an Alabama commit and 2021 First-team MaxPreps Underclass All-American, was one of the top hitters in the country with 17 home runs, 85 RBI and a .517 batting average. Alaska
South Anchorage (Anchorage)
The defending Division I champions have won three state titles in the past six years. The Wolverines return Emily McCutcheon
, who batted .557 and blasted 15 home runs as a sophomore.Arizona
Xavier College Prep (Phoenix)
The Gators went on a roll to close out 2021 as the 6A state champions. Two of the top players in the state return for their senior seasons. Bridget Donahey
, a Northwestern commit, launched 10 home runs last spring, and Harvard commit Riley Flynn
went 16-2 in the circle.
The defending Class 5A softball state champions went 31-0 in 2021. Although the Panthers lost some major talent to graduation, they still have a solid group returning, including one of the top athletes in the 2023 class in Alyssa Houston
Saint Francis (Mountain View)
The top-ranked team from California in 2021 after a perfect season returns nearly its entire lineup. 2022 Minnesota commit power hitter Jessica Oakland
and 2023 pitcher Chloe Cummings
are two of the best in the state. Connecticut
Villinova commit Kathryn Gallant
had a dream season in 2021 for the undefeated Panthers. Thesenior batted .532 and went 21-0 in the circle with a 0.27 ERA last year. They will look to defend their Class L state title. Delaware
Sussex Central (Georgetown)
The Golden Knights fell 1-0 in an 11-inning loss to Caravel in the state championship game. Freshman pitcher Madge Layfield
went 17-1 and struck out 215 batters.
Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton)
Coach T.J. Goelz and staff have another team loaded with great talent and high expectations. The defending 7A champs return the majority of its starting lineup from 2021 and will add several new weapons. Hawaii
The state of Hawaii will hopefully be back on the dirt after two years without postseason play or a full season. The Spartans have a loaded roster including 2023 Oklahoma commit Nellians McEnroe-Marinas
and returning Gatorade State Player of the Year sophomore Jenna Sniffen
The Hawks hit 60 home runs as a team in 2021. All but one were hit by bats expected back in the lineup this season. Delaney Keith
, a second-team MaxPreps All-American posted a .730 on-base percentage. When she wasn't walked, she hit .670 with 18 home runs.Illinois
The Class 4A defending champions had a historic year in 2021 as they finished 38-1 overall. The RedHawks lost several top players in the state to graduation, but this program doesn't rebuild, they reload. Indiana
The Royals will be considered one of the top teams in the country heading into 2022. The defending 4A state champions return a ton of talent from a team that finished ranked No. 11 overall.Kansas
The Trojans completed a 25-0 season with the school's first state softball championship in 2021. As a junior, NiJa Canady
went 21-0 in the circle and also smashed 16 home runs at the plate. Kentucky
The Bearettes captured the school's first state title in 2021. The Louisville-squad scored over nine runs per game. They hope to ride those bats to another title this spring and also return senior pitcher Maria Peguero
, who went 16-1 in the circle.Louisiana
Barbe (Lake Charles)Halie Pappion
is just one of the big names returning for the Buccaneers, who finished No. 6 overall in the country in 2021. Pappion, a Boston College commit, struck out over 180 batters last spring.
The River Hawks are coming off Class A state title. They did it with just two seniors. Pitcher Sierra Carey
and Kiara Warren
will both be back plus others with now championship experience. Maryland
Patterson Mill (Bel Air)
After an undefeated season in 2021, the defending 1A state champions return one of the top players in the country in Madison Knight
. The Syracuse commit launched 12 home runs and was nearly flawless in the circle. Massachusetts
The Red Raiders return three-time Gatorade Player of the Year in ace Giana Lacedra
. The UMass-Lowell commit went 13-1 in the circle with a 0.27 ERA.
The 2021 D1 state champions return with a lot of talent heading into the spring. Class of 2024 pitcher Ava Bradshaw
is one of the top prospects in her class. She struck out 329 batters in 186 innings as a freshman.
The Storm fell short of a state title in 2021, but return three-time all-state and returning Gatorade Player of the Year Sydney Schwartz
in 2022. The powerful pitcher went 21-2 in the circle with a 0.95 ERA.Mississippi
Neshoba Central (Philadelphia)
The Lady Rockets won their eighth-straight state title in 2021 and ended the season 32-0. This team always reloads with talent and leading the way is Ole MIss commit Tenly Grisham
, who batted .583 and was named a first-team MaxPreps All-American.
The Broncs lost in the 2021 state Class AA title game to Belgrade. It could be those teams once again in 2022. Senior returns Kennedy Venner
, who led all Class AA pitchers in strikeouts as a junior.
Spanish Springs (Sparks)
The Cougars finished 19-1 in 2021 and return a lot of star power this upcoming spring. Hailey Mclean
had a big junior year at the plate and in the circle. The Utah State commit hit .509 and went 16-1 as a pitcher.New Hampshire
The Blue Devils won the school's 19th state title in 2021 after finishing 20-1 overall and capturing the Division 1 championship. Pitcher Madison Solt
and sophomore Jen Olsen
are a few big names returning for a chance to repeat. New Jersey
Donovan Catholic (Toms River)
The core of the team returns to defend its back-to-back TOC titles in 2022. The Griffins graduated a ton of talent in 2020 and were supposed to be young and inexperienced, but went 29-1. New Mexico
The defending 4A state champions have a lot to be excited about in 2022. The Bulldogs are loaded with talent. It starts in the circle with Baylor commit RyLee Crandall
, who finished with an 0.13 ERA and smashed 10 home runs at the dish. New York
Hopefully state tournament play returns after two years off because of COVID rules. If it does, look for the Golden Bears to be right there in the mix as one of the state's best. Sophomore pitcher Ava Hoy
, who is 6-foot-3, will look to have a big season as a full-time varsity starter.
Alexander Central (Taylorsville)
The Cougars lost to Southern Alamance in Game 3 of their best-of-three 3A state championship series in 2021. Good news for the state runner-ups is they return all but one player from that team.
Central Cass (Casselton)
The Squirrels won their third-consecutive Class B state title in 2021. It's the fifth overall championship in the past nine years. Ohio
Keystone (La Grange)
The Wildcats have some holes to fill in their lineup after winning the Division II state championship in 2021. But Northern Illinois University commit Lily Cassell
will be back after going 30-1 in the circle. Oregon
The Lava Bears entire pitching staff were all underclassmen and combined to allow opponents to a .081 batting average. Freshman Addisen Fisher
went 9-0 with four no hitters.Pennsylvania
In 2021, junior pitcher Payton List
helped lead the Bobcats to a PIAA Class 4A championship and an undefeated season. The Virginia Tech commit finished with a 16-0 record and an ERA of 0.64.Rhode Island
The Oakers return as the Division I defending state champions. Catcher Hanna Hawley
will be back as the school looks to win a fifth state since 2009. South Carolina
The Rebels went 32-1 last season and won the school's fifth state title. The returning 5A state champs got a brand new stadium and return some major talent in 2022.
The Red Raiders won their sixth straight DII-AA state softball title and ninth in the past 10 in 2021. Coach Kelli Smith returns LSU commit and ace Sydney Berzon
Lake Creek (Montgomery)
The Lions were 38-0 before they were knocked out of the playoffs by Barbers Hill, the top ranked team in the country in 2021. Florida commit, and now junior Ava Brown
, has a career 21 home runs and is also 21-0 as a pitcher.
The 2021 Class 5A state champions averaged over 11 runs per game. They return some big bats, including Avery Sapp
. She was named a first-team Underclass MaxPreps All-American after hitting 10 home runs while batting .512.Vermont
The Hornets fell to Lyndon Institute in the Division II state championship last spring. But after an impressive 14-3 overall record, the state runner-ups will have talent returning to make a deep run and win its first state title since 2008.Virginia
Bishop O'Connell (Arlington)
The Knights' 1-2 punch in the circle were made up of a freshman and a sophomore in 2021. The two combined to allow just one earned run. 2023 Oklahoma State commit Katie Kutz
struck out 94 in 46 innings of work. Washington
W.F. West (Chehalis)
The majority of the Bearcats undefeated 2021 roster returns for hopefully a full spring season in 2022. Kamy Ducas
did it all during her junior season. She batted .500, hit six home runs, and was 16-0 in the circle. West Virginia
The Red Dragons will welcome back Tayven Stephenson
. The second-team 2021 Underclass MaxPreps All-American finished 20-3 overall striking out 245. She also hit 11 home runs. Wisconsin
The Galloping Ghosts captured the WIAA Division 1 state in 2021. The 5-10 right-handed pitcher Skyler Calmes
will be back for her senior season.Wyoming
Campbell County (Gillette)
The inaugural Wyoming state softball championship took place in 2021. The Camels return as the defending champions. Sophomore pitcher Avery Gray
looks to help with a repeat in 2022.