Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – When Renee Gillispie was hired as the Iowa softball coach in June she made no bones about the importance of keeping the top in-state talent in the state of Iowa.
Gilliespie hasn’t wasted any time in doing just that.
Iowa got a commitment from one of the state’s top hitters on Wednesday when Solon senior centerfielder Taylor Ryan verbally committed to the Hawkeyes on Twitter.
“I am more than happy to announce my commitment to play softball at the University of Iowa,” Ryan wrote on Twitter. “I owe many thank yous to everyone who pushed me to become the softball player I am today. I can’t say thank you enough. It is truly a dream come true. Go Hawks!”
A career .460 hitter Ryan cemented her status as one of the best in the state last season as a junior when she ranked fourth in the state with 73 hits and seventh with a .579 batting average.
Ryan led Solon with 52 runs and 37 stolen bases last season while helping the Spartans to a 27-9 record and earning Class 3A first-team all-state honors.
She hit safely in 32 of 36 games last season and had 25 multi-hit games as a junior finishing with seven extra-base hits and 21 RBI from her leadoff spot.
As a junior Ryan hit .529 and ranked second the team with 73 hits and 38 stolen bases on her way to second-team all-state honors.
Iowa was 21-32 last season and 6-16 in Big Ten play.
Gillespie was hired to replace Marla Looper after spending 18 seasons as the head coach at the University of Central Florida.
A Danville native, Gillespie won 625 games and advanced to seven NCAA regionals at UCF.