Kansas Softball Class of 2013: Harli Ridling
Nov. 19, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Fourth-year head coach Megan Smithannounced the six future Jayhawks who signed National Letters of Intent that comprise the 2013 Kansas softball signing class. In the fourth of a six-part series, KUathletics.com highlights Harli Ridling.
A four-year letterwinner at Sentinel High School, Ridling was an all-state catcher under coach Kyle Williams. During her freshman season, Ridling hit .434 with 29 RBIs and only took off from there as she completed her four years at SHS with 176 career RBIs and more than 130 runs scored.
"She absolutely can hit," Smith said. "She comes from a great pedigree. Her brother plays professional baseball with the Cubs organization. She is a force at the plate and just as strong defensively. She's just a natural talent with a strong arm and good instincts. That shows when you watch her play. It's fun to watch her."
As a junior, Ridling hit for an astounding .733 batting average that included nine homeruns and a career-high 64 RBIs. She cranked out nine more homeruns in her senior season and finished her final year of high school hitting .647. Aside from her offensive power, Ridling will likely impact the Jayhawks' roster right away as a catcher, but can play several infield positions.
"She's unbelievable behind the plate," Smith said. "But I think the good thing about Harli is that her team, in pressure situations, wants her all over the field. She can play shortstop--she's played everywhere. That is really important for us to get someone who is a strong catcher behind the plate, but has the capabilities to be versatile and to be a good athlete."
Ridling played four seasons for the Oklahoma City Force at the club level, under coaches Jeff Sanders and Jason Sparks. She is also a four-year letterwinner for the SHS women's basketball team and was named All-Conference for the 2011-12 season.
The daughter of Rusty and Dana Ridling, Harli plans to major in nursing.