Crushing It: The 12 Best Softball Hitters of All Time

Last updated on August 18, 2023

If you’re a fan of softball, you know that hitting is one of the most important — and fun — aspects of the game. A great hitter can change the outcome of a game with just one swing of the bat. Whether you’re a player, coach, or spectator, you can appreciate the skill and power of a top-notch hitter. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best softball hitters of all time.

From college softball stars to Olympic champions, the world of softball has seen some incredible hitters over the years. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the most impressive players to ever step up to the plate.

Lisa Fernandez

If you’re looking for one of the best softball players of all time, you don’t have to look much further than Lisa Fernandez. Fernandez is a former American softball player who played college softball at UCLA as a pitcher and third baseman. She’s also a three-time medal-winning Olympian with Team USA, which is no small feat.

But what makes Fernandez stand out even more is her incredible performance as both a pitcher and a hitter. In fact, according to FiveThirtyEight, Fernandez produced a total WAR of 3.82 thanks to her 1.26 WAR as a hitter and 2.56 WAR as a pitcher.

What’s even more impressive is that Fernandez was able to maintain this level of performance throughout her career. In college, she led the UCLA softball team to two NCAA championships in three years, and she continued to dominate at the international level as well.

One of the reasons Fernandez was such a great hitter was her ability to hit for both power and average. She finished her college career with a .355 batting average and 50 home runs, which is no small feat for a pitcher. She was also known for her ability to come through in clutch situations, something that’s incredibly valuable in any sport.

Dot Richardson

Richardson is a former two-time gold medal-winning Olympian softball player at shortstop, and she’s widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport.

Richardson played college softball at UCLA, where she won the inaugural NCAA Division I softball tournament in 1982. She went on to play for the Raybestos Brakettes, a softball team based in Stratford, Connecticut, where she won four MVP awards at the Women’s Major Fastpitch National Championship.

In addition to her impressive accomplishments on the field, Richardson was also a trailblazer for women’s sports. She was one of the first female athletes to receive a full athletic scholarship to UCLA, where she played softball and volleyball. She’s also a practicing physician and has served as the head coach for the Liberty University softball team.

Richardson was known for her powerful swing and her ability to hit for both average and power. She finished her career with a batting average of .381 and was one of the most feared hitters in softball.

Richardson’s legacy as one of the greatest softball players of all time is secure, and her impact on the sport will be felt for generations to come. If you’re looking to learn from the best, study the career of Dot Richardson and take notes on her approach to hitting.

Laura Berg

Laura Berg is a former American softball player and coach who had an incredible career both in college and on the international stage.

Berg played college softball at Fresno State University, where she had an outstanding career. She was a four-time All-American and helped lead the Bulldogs to two national championships. Berg was also named the NCAA Women’s College World Series Most Outstanding Player twice, in 1998 and 1999.

After college, Berg went on to have a successful career playing for the United States national team. She won four Olympic medals, including three golds and one silver, and was the only American softball player to medal in all four Olympics where the sport was part of the competition. Berg was also a part of seven World Championship teams, and she was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player in 2002 and 2006.

As a coach, Berg has continued to have success. She is currently the head coach of the Oregon State University softball team, where she has been since 2012. In her first season as head coach, Berg led the Beavers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007. She has also been named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year twice, in 2017 and 2018.

Overall, Laura Berg’s accomplishments as a player and coach make her one of the best softball hitters of all time. Her success at both the college and international levels is a testament to her talent and dedication to the sport.

Jennie Finch

You can’t talk about the best softball hitters without mentioning Jennie Finch. She was a dominant force on the mound, but she was also a feared hitter. Finch played for the University of Arizona and was a three-time First Team All-American. During her college career, she never lost a game from late in her sophomore year to early in her senior year.

Finch was also a star on the international stage. She was a member of the USA Olympic Team and helped lead the team to gold medals in both 2004 and 2008. In the 2004 Olympics, she had a 0.60 ERA and struck out 13 batters in 11.2 innings pitched.

After her college career, Finch joined the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) softball league. In her rookie season, she won 15 consecutive games and shared the League’s Pitcher of the Year title. But she was also a force at the plate, hitting three home runs in 33 at-bats and ending the season with a .212 batting average.

Off the field, Finch has been an advocate for softball and women’s sports. She has worked with organizations like the Women’s Sports Foundation and has been a spokesperson for various brands. Finch has also been a coach and mentor to young softball players, helping to inspire the next generation of athletes.

Jessica Mendoza

If you’re looking for a softball player who dominated the sport both offensively and defensively, look no further than Jessica Mendoza. Mendoza is widely regarded as one of the best hitters in the history of the sport. In fact, she was a four-time First Team All-American during her college career at Stanford University.

One of the most impressive things about Mendoza’s hitting ability was her consistency. She ended her college career with a batting average of .383, and she hit over .400 in both her junior and senior seasons. She was also a power hitter, with 50 home runs and 200 RBIs in her career.

After college, Mendoza continued to excel on the field. She was a member of the US Women’s National Team from 2004 to 2010, winning two Olympic medals. She also played professionally in the National Pro Fastpitch league, where she was a four-time All-Star and won a championship with the USSSA Pride in 2010.

But Mendoza’s legacy extends beyond her playing career. She has become a prominent voice in the world of sports broadcasting, working as a color commentator and analyst for ESPN’s coverage of Major League Baseball and Los Angeles Dodgers coverage on Spectrum SportsNet LA. She has also been a vocal advocate for gender equality in sports, and she was the first female analyst for a nationally televised MLB game.

Leah O’Brien-Amico

Leah O’Brien-Amico is widely regarded as one of the best softball hitters of all time. With a career batting average of .441, she was a three-time Olympian and won three National Championships during her time at the University of Arizona.

One of her most impressive accomplishments was her record for the highest batting average in the Women’s College World Series, where she hit .500 over the course of three appearances. She was known for her clutch hitting, with several game-winning hits during her career.

In addition to her success on the field, O’Brien-Amico has become a respected analyst for college softball, sharing her knowledge and love of the game with fans around the world. She is a frequent commentator for ESPN and Westwood One Sports, providing insight and analysis during broadcasts of major softball events.

Michele Smith

A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Smith was a dominant force on the field and is widely regarded as one of the best pitchers and hitters in the history of the sport.

During her college career at Oklahoma State University, Smith set numerous records and earned All-American honors. She continued her success on the international stage, playing for the U.S. National Team and winning gold medals in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

But it wasn’t just her pitching that made Smith a standout player. She was also a formidable hitter, with a career batting average of .307. Her quick hands and bat speed made her a threat at the plate, and she was known for her ability to hit for both power and average.

Off the field, Smith has continued to make an impact on the sport. She is a respected commentator and analyst, bringing her expertise and insights to broadcasts of college and professional softball games. She also shares her knowledge through instructional videos and clinics, helping to develop the next generation of softball players.

Overall, Michele Smith is a true legend in the world of softball. Her accomplishments as both a pitcher and hitter are unparalleled, and her contributions to the sport continue to be felt today.

Stacey Nuveman

Stacey Nuveman was a standout catcher for UCLA and the USA Olympic team, known for her incredible hitting abilities.

With 70 career home runs and 235 runs batted in, Nuveman was a force to be reckoned with at the plate. She was a consistent hitter with a career batting average of .443, and was known for her ability to hit for power and for average.

One of Nuveman’s most impressive accomplishments was tying the NCAA record for consecutive hits in a single game, with five. She achieved this feat against the Pacific Tigers, and went on to drive in six runs in that game.

Off the field, Nuveman has continued to make an impact on the sport of softball. She has worked as a color commentator for College Sports Television, and has also run a series of clinics and camps to help young players improve their skills.

Overall, Stacey Nuveman’s incredible hitting abilities have made her one of the best softball players of all time. Whether you’re a fan of UCLA or just a fan of the sport, you can’t deny the impact that she has had on softball history.

Crystl Bustos

When it comes to discussing the greatest softball hitters of all time, it’s impossible not to mention Crystl Bustos. As a two-time Olympic gold medalist, she is widely regarded as one of the best hitters to ever play the game.

Bustos was known for her incredible power at the plate. She holds the world record for home runs during an Olympic series, with six. Her hitting mechanics were also a thing of beauty, allowing her to hit with effortless power and consistency.

Throughout her career, Bustos racked up an impressive list of accomplishments. She was a two-time World Cup Champion, a four-time Pan American Champion, and a three-time National Pro Fastpitch Champion. She also earned numerous individual accolades, including being named the USA Softball Player of the Year in 2008.

One of the things that set Bustos apart from other hitters was her ability to perform in clutch situations. She always seemed to come through when her team needed her most, delivering key hits and driving in runs. If you were a pitcher facing Bustos with the game on the line, you knew you were in for a tough battle.

Natasha Watley

Natasha Watley played for the UCLA Bruins from 2000-2003 and was a four-time All-American. Watley is listed seventh on the all-time NCAA record books with 115 hits in a single season. She was also the first UCLA Bruin to have two 100+ hit seasons. She overall ranks top-10 in career hits.

Watley was named the Honda Award winner for softball at the end of her senior season in 2003 and then went on to win the Honda-Broderick Cup, presented to the nation’s top collegiate female athlete across all sports. She was also a three-time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, which is awarded to the best player in college softball. After college, Watley went on to play for the United States women’s national softball team.

She was a member of the team from 2004-2010 and won two Olympic medals, including a gold medal in 2004 and a silver medal in 2008. Watley was the leadoff hitter for the team and was known for her speed and ability to get on base. Overall, Natasha Watley is one of the most dominant softball players of all time. She was a consistent hitter throughout her college and professional career and was a key member of the United States women’s national softball team.

Lauren Chamberlain

Lauren Chamberlain played for the University of Oklahoma from 2012 to 2015 and set multiple NCAA records during her career.

One of Chamberlain’s most impressive records is the all-time NCAA Division I home run record, which she held until 2022 when Jocelyn Alo broke it. Chamberlain hit 95 home runs during her college career, and her record-breaking 91st home run was a grand slam.

Chamberlain wasn’t just a power hitter, though. She also had a career batting average of .389 and an on-base percentage of .559. She was named the Big 12 Player of the Year three times and was a three-time first-team All-American.

Chamberlain’s success on the field wasn’t just due to her natural talent. She was also known for her work ethic and dedication to the sport. She would often stay after practice to work on her swing or take extra reps in the batting cage.

Off the field, Chamberlain has been a positive role model for young softball players. She’s been open about her struggles with body image and has encouraged young girls to embrace their strength and athleticism.

Overall, Lauren Chamberlain’s impact on the sport of softball cannot be overstated. She set records that may never be broken and inspired countless young players to work hard and chase their dreams.

Aubree Munro

This former Florida Gator standout was known for her excellent glove behind the plate and her impressive offensive skills.

During her time at Florida, Munro set a school record with a .996 fielding percentage, making only one error in 247 chances. But it was her hitting that really made her stand out. In her senior year, she had a batting average of .347 and hit 10 home runs, earning her All-American honors.

Munro’s success didn’t stop in college. She went on to play professionally for the USSSA Pride and was a member of the USA Softball Women’s National Team. In 2019, she helped Team USA win gold at the Pan American Games.

One of Munro’s most memorable moments came during the 2017 Women’s College World Series. In a game against the LSU Tigers, Munro hit a walk-off home run to secure the win for the Gators. It was a clutch performance that solidified her status as one of the best hitters in college softball.

Overall, Aubree Munro’s impressive career as a catcher and hitter has earned her a place among the best in the sport. Her dedication and hard work have made her a role model for young softball players everywhere.

Leave a Comment