softball-d1 flag

Michella Chester | | March 10, 2023

These are the top college softball freshmen to watch in 2023

Top freshmen in DI softball so far in 2023

We are one month into college softball, so we have all gotten a good look at the new talent this season. Last year, we saw the likes of Jordy Bahl, Emma Lemley, Cydney Sanders, and more. This year, we already have multiple freshmen off to hot starts in 2023.ย 

๐ŸŽย Follow on Apple News

Here are the top freshmen to watch that have been on ๐Ÿ”ฅ to start the season (all stats through March 9):

Jocelyn Erickson โ€” Oklahoma

Jocelyn Erickson

Jocelyn Alo no longer suits up in her Oklahoma Sooners uniform, but now we have another Jocelyn to watch in college softball. Erickson has started off her freshman campaign in a big way. She headlines this list, and when I start telling you the numbers, you will understand why. Erickson is not only performing well for a freshman, but leads the entire OU lineup. We are talking the strongest offense in the nation and No. 1 team in the nation. Not only that, but her .568 average ranks third in the entire NCAA. She is tied for first on the team with five homers, and sports a 1.108 slugging percentage and team leading 25 RBI. Watch out for Jocelyn Erickson and I mean it. She is taking the sport by storm.ย 

NiJaree Canady โ€” Stanford

NiJaree Canady

Alright, here is the next freshman that is absolutely dropping jaws this season. NiJaree Canady has been close to untouchable in the circle for Stanford. She has a .00 ERA with over 70 strikeouts through 44 innings pitched. Do I need to repeat that stat line? She is one of just three pitchers remaining in the entire nation with a .00 ERA, and she has the most innings pitched out of all of them. (Nicole May and Lexie Delbrey are the two others) Not to mention, Candy has already thrown a couple of no-hitters. This freshman is on fire.ย 

There is another freshman at Stanford to know โ€” River Mahler. If Canady is shining in the circle, Mahler is shining in the batters box. The freshman leads the lineup with a .449 average.

Viviana Martinez โ€” Texas

Viviana Martinez

The 2022 national runner-ups brought in a stellar freshman in Viviana Martinez. The middle infielder leads the Longhorns with aย  .515 average and is tied for first on the team with 21 home runs.ย 

Olivia DiNardo โ€” Arizona


Over at Arizona, Olivia DiDardo is shining bright in her freshman season. She too is hitting over .500 to start the season โ€” one of 16 players in the NCAA, total โ€” and she, Martinez and Erickson are the only three freshmen in the ranks.

Ruby Meylan โ€” Washington

ruby Meylan

Time for another pitcher on the list. Ruby Meylan has been outstanding for the Huskies so far this season.ย She leads the pitching staff with a minuscule .45 ERA through just over 60 innings pitched and has 88 strikeouts. Those 88 Ks rank eighth in the NCAA this season.ย 

Karlyn Pickens โ€” Tennessee

Karlyn Pickens

Tennessee has a loaded pitching staff, but there is a freshman in the mix.ย Karlyn Pickens currently has a .52 ERA as she splits time with Ashley Rogers and Peyton Gottshall in the circle.ย 

A few more freshmen of note:

  • Cassidy Curd at Duke boasts a .6 ERA
  • Megan Grant at UCLA has 27 RBI, and Jordan Woolery has had an impressive start for the Bruins
  • Mihyia Davis at Louisiana has 19 stolen bases andย highlight plays in center field:
  • Robyn Herron at Arkansas has 71 strikeouts so far and a .81 ERA,ย and that's with splitting time with Chenise Delce
  • Kenleigh Calahan at Alabama is hitting over .400, currently

East Texas Baptist University named host for the 2024 DIII softball championship

East Texas Baptist University was named the host of the NCAA 2024 Division III Softball Championship in Marshall, Texas, which will take place from May 30 to June 5.

Softball pitchers can disengage from the playing surface while delivering a pitch next season

A rule change ahead of the 2023-24 college softball season allows pitchers to disengage from the playing surface and become entirely airborne while delivering their pitch

D1Softball's top 100 college softball players from 2023

Who were the best players of the 2023 college softball season? Based on offensive stats, defensive impact, value to their team, advanced metrics and a splash of postseason success, D1Softball compiled the best 100 players of this past season.
Division I
Softball Championship
May 30 - June 6/7, 2024
USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium | Oklahoma City, OK

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners