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From California to Texas, the top 10 players are freakishly good. Bound for the Pac, SEC, and Big 12, these elite athletes are really just scraping the surface of their potential. The Hot 100 will reveal next season's Freshman of the Year or future Player of the Year.
This list is an updated version of our initial 2018 Hot 100 rankings, and 20 of the honorees will be new to the list after our last version published in December 2016.
After the top 100 is finalized, FloSoftball will shortly thereafter profile the No. 1 player and then list the "next in" classes comprising recruits Nos. 101-200, 201-300, 301-400, and 401-500!
FloSoftball has ranked the Hot 100 beginning with the 2014 class and has done every grad year since including 2015, '16, '17, '18, '19, '20, and '21. We've also updated most of those years several times.
These 2018 honorees were chosen based on input and feedback from college and club coaches as well as our own FloSoftball event and in-person observations. Criteria for choosing and ranking the players includes performances at the club and high school levels and projecting how they will play at the collegiate level.
10 | Jasmine Sievers, SS/CF | Cal Cruisers (Oregon)
Sievers possesses the speed, athleticism, and instincts that you just can't teach. Named first-team all-county and First-Team South League Coast, Sievers is a beast in pressure situations. At Capo Valley, she batted leadoff hitting .486, 24 RBIs, 17 stolen bases, and an on-base percentage of .588.
In 2016, she helped the Cruisers to a runner-up finish at 18U Premier PGF Nationals and fell short in the semifinals in 2017 against the Bandits. She can to play shortstop or center field, playing both positions equally well. A proven competitor, Sievers will be a great fit for Oregon's dynamic roster.
9 | Shelby Wickersham, P | Marucci Patriots (LSU)
Wickersham is a 5-foot-11 athlete in the circle who throws in the mid- to upper-60s with great movement. As a junior at Mt. Carmel High School, Wickersham won two state championships playing for both the softball and volleyball teams. In the circle for the Cubs, Wickersham went 18-3 throwing 192 strikeouts in 123 innings pitched and a 0.78 ERA. She was also voted the most outstanding player on the Louisiana Sports Writer’s Association Class 5A all-state softball team. Daughter of former LSU and NFL quarterback, Jeff Wickersham, Shelby took her unofficial visit to LSU and immediately made the commitment to the Tigers and Beth Torina, who happens to be her pitching coach!
8 | Brittany Allen, SS/3B | Explosion – Denio (Florida)
Allen has developed into one of the most feared power hitters in the country. Not only can she rocket the ball over the fence, but Allen is also very disciplined at the plate and a good two-strike hitter, making her even more difficult to get past. During her junior year at Santiago High School, Allen hit .422 with 38 hits, 27 RBIs, and an on-base percentage of .438. Although her hitting appears to be her strongest asset, Allen has worked very hard to become one of the top third basemen as well. She is a leader on and off the field and her maturity is second to none. These intangibles along with her elite-level skill is clearly what drew the attention of SEC powerhouse Florida.
7 | Montana Fouts, P | Louisville Lady Sluggers (Alabama)
Fouts has all the makings of an NCAA All-American pitcher. The 6-2 right-hander is a power pitcher who understands the importance of movement and hitting locations. Last summer with the Beverly Bandits, Fouts led her team to two championships at the 16U level, PGF Nationals, and Triple Crown/USA Nationals.
As a junior at East Carter High School, Fouts went 29-4 with 448 strikeouts in 213 innings and a 0.39 ERA. On the flip side, the Alabama commit hit .567 with 12 home runs and 66 RBIs. Her performance on both sides of the field earned her several honors including USA Today First Team All-American and Gatorade State Player of the Year.
6 | Brooke Vestal, P | Firecrackers – Rico (Oklahoma)
For the last two years, Vestal held the No. 1 spot in the 2018 Hot 100. Still a franchise player, she was hindered all year with hand injuries that started at the USA Softball junior national tryouts and then were reaggravated in Colorado over the summer.
Vestal still has the skills and emotional toughness and makeup that helped her led the Firecrackers to the 2016 PGF 18U National Championship. A First-Team FloSoftball All-American, she recorded 244 strikeouts with a 1.31 ERA. Vestal shared District 27-6A MVP honors in 2017.
5 | Makinzy Herzog, OF/UT | Texas Bombers (Florida State)
Texas coaches across the state are singing high praises for Makinzy Herzog. Considered one of the best all-around athletes in the state, Herzog can hit for power and average, slap, steal bases, and throw it by you in the circle. At Ridgepoint High School, Herzog was voted 23-5A MVP posting a 0.99 ERA with a .610 batting average along with 20 stolen bases. The future Seminole hits leadoff for Scott Smith’s Bombers and is also their ace. Smith added, “Makinzy is an amazing softball player. She is a left-handed hitter that has plus power and amazing speed. She can hit the ball out of the park just as easily as she can drop a bunt and beat it out. She is an absolute threat to steal a base every time she is on base. What makes Makinzy even more special is she is an amazing pitcher as well. She is absolutely one of the top 2018 pitchers in Texas.”
4 | Baylee Klingler, SS/3B | Impact Gold — Jackson (Texas A&M)
Klingler not only made the USA Softball junior national team, she’s beaten out college freshmen to earn the starting spot in the infield and has dominated in internal play already. Halfway through the summer she earned her starting spot and batted cleanup, being the only high school player in the lineup. She and Bubba Nickles (UCLA) were the only two to get a base hit against the USA women’s national team when the squads scrimmaged this summer.
At the 2017 WBSC Junior Women’s World Championship, Klingler helped the team win gold as she batted .393 (11-for-28) with 10 runs scored, two home runs, and 12 RBIs. At the World Cup of Softball XII this summer, she was equally dominant, hitting .500 (9-for-18) with a home run and six RBIs. The senior batted .584 with 54 RBIs and 14 home runs including two grand slams for her Dickinson (TX) High team last spring. She comes from good athletic DNA, too, as her father Jimmy played college and pro football and is now a high school football coach as well as an assistant in the Impact Gold organization.
3 | Skylar Wallace, SS | Georgia Impact – Lewis (Alabama)
As a freshman, Wallace already looked like a college player with the physical tools including power, speed, and coordination to be years ahead of her age group. As a senior, she’s continued to improve and there’s no telling how good she can ultimately be. She was a Second-Team FloSoftball All-American her freshman year and as a junior earned first-team All-American honors after batting .494 with a .617 on-base percentage with 35 steals for her Etowah (Woodstock, GA) team. This fall she led the Eagles to the Class 7A state title game. Wallace also earned Select 30 All-American honors after being clocked at a 2.61 home-to-first time last year. Her track background helps her running mechanics, efficiency, and fluidity in movement and her natural gifts combined with a strong work ethic make her an All-American candidate at the collegiate level. She committed to Alabama in the fall of 2014 after visiting more than a half dozen top 25 programs.
2 | Ally Shipman, C | So Cal Choppers – Fausett (Tennessee)
Shipman grew up as her older sister Madison was an All-American at Tennessee and has starred recently in the NPF while her father, Bill, is a long-time club coach. She has played at the 18U level since her freshman year and as a sophomore was a key on the Choppers team that finished 3rd at PGF 18U Nationals. Dominant in every facet of the game, Shipman was a 1st Team FloSoftball All-American this year after batting .615 with 15 home runs, 39 RBI, 40 runs and remarkably, no strikeouts all season long and even had 14 steals. She is hitting .530 for her prep career and already has 33 home runs with 112 RBIs. The standout became so feared at the plate that she had 33 walks out of 112 plate appearances this year, and put up a great 2.088 OPS due to a .726 on-base percentage and 1.363 slugging percentage, but of all Shipman’s prolific stats, the most impressive may have been her remarkable .833 batting average with runners in scoring position. Along with pitcher Shea O’Leary (Texas, #14 in the 2018 Hot 100), she helped her Valencia (California) High team reach the CIF Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals before losing against a powerful Orange Lutheran squad led by Stanford-bound hurler Maddy Dwyer. Shipman has every tangible and intangible asset you want in not just a catcher, but a leader and player to build your team around. She has the physical tools-including a great arm and the ability to frame and block at an advanced level—as well as mental toughness, competitive fire, a great work ethic and the rare gift to make players around her better.
1 | Megan Faraimo, P/1B | Corona Angels (UCLA)
It’s not unusual for a talented softball to have all-world gifts at a young age — say, 7th or 8th grade — but eventually peak or plateau and see the rest of her class catch up physically and in on-field skills. Rare is the player that dominates early and keeps elevating her game ahead of her age group, but that’s exactly what Faraimo has done. At the 14U level in 2014, she was the workhorse for Marty Tyson’s Angels team that won the PGF National Championship and was so impactful that he gave the winning trophy to her for “carrying the team on her back.”
Faraimo shortly thereafter moved up to the 18U level and had to adjust with the big age jump, but soon became the franchise pitcher for the prestigious program and in 2017 elevated her game to another level. After a stellar junior season that saw the Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, CA) High pitcher go 27-1 with a 0.60 ERA and 251 Ks in 175 1/3 innings and led the Dons to the CIF San Diego Section Open Division title, she deservedly earned First-Team FloSoftball All-American honors as well as being chosen as the State Junior of the Year by CalHiSports.com and the SoCalSidelines.com San Diego Pitcher of the Year. Helping her win all those honors was a transcendent 17-strikeout performance in 10 innings to help Cathedral capture the section title. So far she’s 52-6 in her three prep seasons, but what really wowed onlookers was when Faraimo took the field this summer for club play.
Noticeably bigger, stronger and more powerful, she benefitted from being a standout volleyball player — she’s won state volleyball championships, too — and using the conditioning and skills in that sport to help her become a better all-around athlete while advancing in the mental side of pitching, namely being able to battle and use her great speed and movement on the pitches to set up batters.
Fariamo led the Angels to the PGF 18U Premier Nationals title game and had a stellar week, going 4-1 with a 0.21 ERA and 26 Ks and only four walks in 33 innings with four complete games. In the title game — a 2-0 loss to the hot Beverly Bandits led by pitcher Alexis Holloway now at Notre Dame — Faraimo only gave up three hits and one earned run but the Angels fell 2-0 to prevent the San Diego two-sport athlete from getting her second PGF Nationals title.
But her fantastic week, summer, and year couldn’t take away all the realized potential of the senior who has all the makings to become the next great Bruin pitcher following in the paths of former great hurlers like Lisa Fernandez, Lisa Longaker, Amanda Freed, Angelica Selden, Tracy Compton, Debbie Doom, Kiera Goerl, and Ally Carda. Whether she will join that long list of legendary pitchers, only time will tell, but based on her performances and accomplishments over the last year Faraimo has shown she has what it takes to be the top player in the FloSoftball 2018 Hot 100.