Preble’s Wolfe continues rise on diamond
By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – Green Bay Preble softball player Ashley Wolfe burst onto the scene before she even entered high school.
Cracking the top-100 as an eighth-grader in the Extra Innings Softball player rankings for the 2023 graduating class, Wolfe has continued her rise.
In the latest rankings, the Hornets shortstop is No. 45 nationally.
“I attribute my rise to hard work and everyone who’s been with me through my journey,” said Wolfe, whose Preble team is currently ranked No. 1 in the Wissports.net Division 1 Coaches Poll. “My coaches, parents and teammates have been supportive and been there for me.”
Wolfe’s rise isn’t solely based on the support around here but also hard work.
Many times before a game, you’ll find her in the batting cage getting extra work.
It’s a sure thing she’ll be in the cage after a tough day at the plate.
“I’m hard on myself,” Wolfe said. “I analyze my at-bats after a game. Even if I’m successful in most of my at-bats, I tend to think about the ones I didn’t do well in. I’ll for sure get in the cage after having a bad game offensively.”
Through May 24 games, Wolfe is hitting a robust .578 (22-for-38) at the plate in Fox River Classic Conference play.
She has nine doubles, two triples, five home runs, 16 RBI, scored 25 runs, stole six bases and has 10 bases on balls.
Her slugging percentage (1B + 2Bx2 + 3Bx3 + HRx4)/AB) is 1.316 and has an on-base percentage of .600.
“I prefer fast pitching,” Wolfe said. “Sometimes I struggle against a slower pitcher because my timing is off.”
During a recent game against Ashwaubenon at Pioneer Park, Wolfe, the Hornets leadoff hitter, cranked two home runs, was intentionally walked and added a sacrifice fly.
Preble head coach Ron Metzler said Wolfe can do it all.
“Lots of people only look at her offensive stats, but Ashley plays incredible defense at shortstop, too,” he said. “She’s an all-around player offensively. Sometimes you get the kid who can hit, get on base, can run or hit with power. Ashley’s strength is she has all of those tools. She hits hard, runs well and gets to lots of balls at short. You don’t have many players who can do so many things – that’s Ashley.”
Wolfe said she’s not concerned with where she’ll end up in the rankings by the time she’s a senior, but her rise from last year (she moved up from No. 97) to this year is proof she can jump further.
“I’d like to at least stay where I’m at,” she said. “I want to improve as a player and as an individual and help my team win a state title. I don’t want to move down but being 45 now is awesome.”
Wolfe said she’s aiming for a Division I college scholarship.
“I don’t want to limit myself to Division 1,” she said. “I’m open to any school.”
Her summer club team, Iowa Premier Fastpitch, travels nationally.
“I have tournaments starting Memorial Day weekend in St. Louis and Oklahoma a few weeks after that,” Wolfe said. “After the high school season is completed, I’ll be full-time with Iowa Premier again.”