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Kendall Wells’ leadership a perfect fit for Oklahoma softball
Kendall Wells is the nation's No. 1 catcher in the Class of 2025 and committed to the Oklahoma Sooners just one day before setting North Oconee's single-season home run record. (Photo: @KendallWells00/X)

Kendall Wells’ leadership a perfect fit for Oklahoma softball

ATHENS, Ga. (BVM) – Kendall Wells is the No. 1-ranked catcher in the Class of 2025 and committed to the back-to-back-to-back Women’s College World Series champion Oklahoma Sooners on Sept. 6.

Just a day later, she set the North Oconee single-season home run record with her 15th blast of the year. Wells already holds school records for career home runs, RBIs and stolen bases, but her latest accomplishment means a bit more.

“It was super cool and it just means a lot because I didn’t get to play a lot last season and not a lot of teams saw me last year, so I’m having to prove myself and show how great of a player I am,” Wells said of her single-season home run record.

Last June while playing travel ball for Georgia Impact-Sampson, Wells dislocated her ankle, breaking several bones and tearing several ligaments. The injury required surgery – which included screws, plates, wires and anchors – and the recovery took about five to six months, causing her to miss the beginning portion of the fall softball season.

Spending the beginning of her sophomore campaign in the dugout, Wells said she began to take on more of a coach’s view of the game.

“I was analyzing what the hitters were doing, what was going on in the field, how the pitchers were moving, how we could use situational hitting to get certain runs,” Wells said. “It was just kind of a different way that I was looking at the game when I was sitting out.”

Luckily for Wells, her father works on the orthopedic side of the sports medicine field and his connections helped her physically and mentally overcome the injury setback. The North Oconee softball star said she felt faster and stronger than before upon her return last fall and her production is evidence of that.

Wells hit .783 with 10 home runs and 23 RBIs to close out her sophomore season and has brought the momentum into 2023.

The nation’s top-ranked catcher in the Class of 2025 already has an eye-popping 16 home runs through 18 games in which the Titans are 14-4. Wells believes this North Oconee squad has what it takes to make a run at a state title this year and if it does, it’ll be due in large part not only to Wells’ talent but her leadership.

“I would say one of my biggest attributes is my leadership, specifically because I’m a catcher and a part of everything; that brings a different type of leadership to the field,” Wells said. “I’m a very vocal and outgoing person so that adds a lot to the leadership aspect of it.”

Leadership is a quality that Oklahoma softball and head coach Patty Gasso covet and it’s probably why the Sooners targeted the North Oconee standout as well as Sophia Bordi, the top 2025 pitcher out of New Jersey who committed to Oklahoma just one day before Wells did.

The Sooners – who just won their third consecutive national championship and extended their NCAA-record winning streak to 53 games – posted the nation’s best ERA (0.96) during their record-breaking 2023 season while Kinzie Hanses was awarded the Johnny Bench Award for the top college softball catcher.

Now, Wells and Bordi will be counted on to keep the standard high when they arrive in Norman.

“I think the reason they (Sooners) have so much success is because of how hard they work,” Wells said. “The girls work so hard to compete against each other and keep the program great that it’s not really something they think about (national championship), they just play and their hard work begins to pay off.”

Kendall Wells
Kendall Wells is the nation’s No. 1 catcher in the Class of 2025 and committed to the Oklahoma Sooners just one day before setting North Oconee’s single-season home run record. (Photo: @KendallWells00/X)

The family atmosphere at Oklahoma is what sold Wells on the Sooners when she could’ve chosen to play at any top-tier program. The softball culture in Norman became crystal clear to Wells when she took an official visit and met some of her future teammates.

Surrounded by some of the country’s best athletes and coaches, Wells’ talent and leadership will fit right in with the Sooners.

“The coaches at Oklahoma are so elite and have so much knowledge about the game and the hitting and catching aspects of it,” Wells said. “Just to learn their side of things and how they’re so successful is super cool to me.

“Obviously to win a national championship would be very cool and it’s something I’m thinking about but it’s not like I feel like I have to win a national championship since I’m going to Oklahoma. Hopefully our hard work and winning will pay off in the end.”