Despite returning to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2021, softball will again be removed from the Olympics. In spite of this, the sport will continue to move each year, with new softball stars appearing each season. With the sport’s popularity, one frequent question is, “who are the most famous softball players”?
Over the years, many great female softball players have dominated the sport while making big statements at the collegiate level and during play in the Summer Olympics.
Read on to learn more about the best softball players of all time, different levels of softball players, the current best softball player, and even some famous softball players’ jersey numbers.
Who Is the Best Softball Player in the World?
Depending on who you ask, there may be a few solid options as to who is the best softball player in the world.
Currently, the debate could be made for a few great players who have dominated fastpitch softball in 2022. One of those players who is well-deserving of the honor as one of the best softball players in 2022 is Jocelyn Alo.
Alo, named the 2022 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, continued her dominance in 2022, marking the third straight season with at least 30 home runs while also setting the All-Time collegiate career home run mark.
10 Most Famous Softball Players
As you look around the game of softball, many great famous softball players come to mind. Here is our list of the top 10 Most Famous Softball Players.
Jennie Finch – Arizona Wildcats & Team USA
The former Arizona Wildcats standout and Team USA softball player is arguably the most famous softball player and one of the best softball players of All-Time.
Jennie Finch wrapped up her college career with a 119-16 overall pitching record, 1,028 strikeouts, and a 1.08 earned run average. In addition, Finch was 38-2 as a member of various Team USA teams, including helping the team win both gold and silver medals.
Finch’s media presence, her appearance on the cover of the Sports Illustrated, and even her performance at the MLB All-Star game striking out Albert Pujols.
Cat Osterman – Texas Longhorns & Team USA
Just behind Jennie Finch, one of the faces of the softball landscape is Cat Osterman, who was also a part of the 2004 Team USA Gold Medal team and the 2008 Team USA Silver Medal team.
Osterman racked up four Big 12 Pitcher of the Year awards while playing for the Texas Long Horns. In addition, she played professionally with the NPF, where she was a six-time All-NPF selection and four-time NPF Champion.
Natasha Watley – UCLA Bruins & Team USA
With the popularity of softball picking up in the early 2000s, the success of the Team USA softball team landed many of their players to rise to the top of the “most famous softball players to play” list.
Watley put together a fantastic college career, including finishing her career to have at least a .400 batting average with at least 200 runs scored, 100 stolen bases, and 300 total hits.
Lisa Fernandez – UCLA Bruins & Team USA
One of the most dominant softball players of All-Time, Lisa Fernandez, was a three-time Gold Medal standout and a two-time National Champion with the UCLA Bruins.
Over her career, she posted a record 25 strikeouts in a game for Team USA, was four-time First-Team All-American, and racked up a 93-7 record with the Bruins and a 7-1 record for Team USA.
Nicole “Sis” Bates AKA Sis Bates – Washington Huskies
One of the top softball players over the past five years, Sis Bates, lands 5th on the list as one of the most famous softball players.
Over her career with the Huskies, Bates racked up three Pac-12 All-Defensive team honors and three Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year awards as one of the best fielding players in all of college softball.
Sierra Romero – Michigan Wolverines & Team USA
Sierra Romero ranks sixth on the Top 10 Most Famous Softball Players list.
The former Michigan Wolverines player accomplished as much as many of these players on this list, including helping Team USA take home the Silver Medal at the 2015 Pan American Games.
In addition, Romero was a three-time All-Big Ten First Team selection, Big Ten Tournament MVP, and even the Big Ten Triple Crown.
Jocelyn Alo – Oklahoma Sooners
Fresh off helping her Oklahoma Sooners win back-to-back National Championships, it is easy to understand why Jocelyn Alo is one of the most famous softball players.
Alo finishes her college career as the All-Time home run leader with 122 home runs. In addition, the Sooners star took home three First-Team All-American honors and back-to-back USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Awards.
In addition, Alo was recently drafted number one overall by the Smash It Vipers, who play in the new Women’s Professional Fastpitch league.
Jessica Mendoza- Stanford Cardinals & Team USA
The former Stanford Cardinals star and current broadcaster on ESPN, Jessica Mendoza, has made a name for herself while also becoming a fan favorite softball player.
Mendoza, who also appeared on the 2004 and 2008 Team USA teams that took home a Gold Medal and Silver Medal, now does color commentating for the Los Angeles Dodgers and MLB.
The former Cardinals star finished her career as a .416 hitter with 50 home runs and 188 runs batted in, while also hitting 35 home runs for Team USA between 2014 and 2018.
Dot Richardson – UCLA Bruins & Team USA
One of the key members of the Team USA inaugural team within softball at the Olympics while helping them win back-to-back Gold Medals.
In addition, Dot Richardson helped the UCLA Bruins win their first NCAA Championship during the 1982 NCAA Softball Season.
Now Richardson is coaching college softball for the Liberty Lady Flames Softball team.
Odicci Alexander – James Madison University
Another top star over the softball landscape over the past few years and one that put her name on the map is Odicci Alexander.
Alexander made her name known during the 2021 College World Series for Softball by leading her James Madison Dukes to their first-ever Women’s College World Series.
Alexander finished as the CAA Player of the Year, the Softball America Pitcher of the Year, and a selection on the WCWS All-Tournament Team.
Famous Softball Pitchers
One of the most significant aspects of fastpitch softball comes from pitching with the unique underarm windmill-style pitch that can be difficult to hit. With that said, many of the best softball players to play the game were all dominant on the mound.
Here are some of the most famous softball pitchers over the years:
- Lisa Fernandez
- Cat Osterman
- Jennie Finch
Current famous softball pitchers include collegiate softball stars such as:
- Montana Fouts
- Valerie Cagle
- Miranda Elish
Best Softball Players of All-Time
The game of softball has produced many famous softball players over the years. While it is difficult to point out a few names, the list includes many of the names listed above.
Here is a look at some famous softball players and their positions that rank as some of the best softball players of all time.
- Pitchers: Jennie Finch, Lisa Fernandez, Cat Osterman, Monica Abbott & Rachel Garcia
- Catcher: Stacey Nuveman & Aubree Munro
- First Base: Lauren Chamberlain & Amanda Lorenz
- Second Base: Sierra Romero & Kelsey Stewart
- Short Stop: Sis Bates, Dot Richardson & Natasha Watley
- Third Base: Kasey Cooper, Crystl Bustos & Sydney Romero
- Outfielder: Jessica Mendoza, Leah O’Brien-Amico, Jocelyn Alo & Caitlin Lowe
Famous Softball Players Jersey Numbers
Here is a list of some of the most famous softball players’ jersey numbers.
00 – Rachel Garcia (UCLA)
One of the most popular numbers to wear in most sports if allowed is the famous double zero or 00. One softball player who rocked the 00 is former UCLA Bruins star, Rachel Garcia.
Garcia helped the Bruins win the 2019 College World Series while also taking home multiple honors, including Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year in 2019 and being named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019.
8 & 38 – Cat Osterman (Texas Longhorns & Team USA)
When you look around all sports, the number 8 has had many great players rock the number, including the Iron Man Cal Ripken Jr.
The number 8 in softball is the number one of the famous softball players’ jersey numbers. That player is Cat Osterman, who put together a storybook career, including winning both a Gold Medal and Silver medal for Team USA.
In addition, Osterman also wore 38 over her career.
13 – Kasey Cooper (Auburn & Team USA)
Lucky number 13 lands as one famous softball player’s jersey number while also being worn by many other great softball players over the years.
One player to rock the number 13 in softball is Kasey Cooper of the Auburn Tigers. Cooper was a member of Team USA that took home the gold medal at the 2016 Softball World Championship and the Silver Medal at the World Cup of Softball in 2016.
Cooper finished her college career with the Auburn Tigers as a .385 hitter with 67 home runs and 270 runs batted in.
27 – Jennie Finch (Arizona)
Jennie Finch has been the face of softball for many years while being all-around sports media. She has been in Sports Illustrated multiple times as a cover athlete and in the SI Swimsuit edition.
Finch is beautiful and one of the best softball players to play the game of softball.
78 – Jocelyn Alo (Oklahoma)
The College World Series Home Run Queen Jocelyn Alo rocks the number 78 for her Oklahoma Sooners National Championship and is possibly the best softball player to wear the 78.
Alo’s resume includes taking home two National Championships, being named as an All-American three different seasons, and being the Big 12 Player of the Year twice.
Who is considered the Greatest Softball Player ever?
You can debate a few of these famous softball players as the greatest softball player ever after storybook careers, including leading their respective Collegiate teams to NCAA Championships, helping Team USA win gold medals, and even playing professionally.
While Jennie Finch is possibly the most famous softball player, Dot Richardson has the resume to be considered the Greatest Softball Player ever.
Various Levels of Softball Players
Fastpitch softball is played by females of all ages starting at a very young age of four within Little League while moving up to professional softball leagues worldwide. Here are various levels of fastpitch softball players and organizations.
Little League Softball
Little League Softball is where most women, including the best softball players of today, all got their start. With little league, ladies can start playing at the age of four and move up through various leagues until they are 16.
Travel Fastpitch Softball
One of the most popular setups for fastpitch softball is within travel leagues that travel around the country and, even in some cases, around the world. League ages vary but many start with 8-9-10 age groups and run up to unlimited, including 16-18 years old.
High School Fastpitch Softball
As females make their way to high school, many high schools in the United States offer fastpitch softball allowing schools to compete against other schools in their area or district.
College Fastpitch Softball
Once high schoolers graduate, they move on to the next level of play, which includes playing at the college level with a chance to compete for College Championships, including the D1 National Championship.
Professional Fastpitch Softball
While professional fastpitch softball doesn’t stack up against professional baseball, it does offer the top female softball players in the world a chance to continue playing the game they love. As a result, various leagues have been around, including the Women’s Professional Fastpitch (WPF) league.
We looked at some of the most famous softball players of all time and the best softball players of all time – be sure that the list will continue to grow as the next wave of softball players build their softball resumes.