Strickland wraps up stellar career with numerous post-season honors


Davin Smith

Ella Strickland celebrating with her teammates after hitting a double in the district semifinal game against Jackson on Oct. 15. Strickland was one of only two players from St. Louis County to be named Class 5 all-state.

Ella Strickland (12) has been a starter on the OHS softball team since she made varsity as a freshman. 

“We asked so much of her coming in as a freshman. She played right field for us and came in and did an outstanding job,” said head coach Rich Sturm. “You try not to put a lot of pressure and expectations on someone that young, but the way she handled herself from her freshman year to her senior year I think was exemplary for all the other players.”

Now, four years later, Stickland has wrapped up her final year by setting new records and receiving numerous post-season awards. She was named first team all-region, first team all- district, second team Class 5 all-state, and the St. Louis Suburban Conference Player of the Year in the Yellow Division. She also set an OHS record for most home runs hit in a career (21), so to say Strickland had an amazing season is an understatement. 

After an irregular season and only getting to compete in a total of 14 games (the Tigers finished 9-5), Strickland led the team with 9 home runs and finished her season with a batting average of .426. She also had a team-high total of 22 runs batted in this season and finished her career with a total of 115, one of the highest totals in school history.

“I’m super excited to have been able to accomplish all of this in a short amount of time that we had this year,” said Strickland. “I’m still surprised that I could get this done. I am also super proud of the team because without them none of this could have happened. We came a long way in a short period of time.”

However, Strickland’s outstanding performance is not all that makes her a leader for the rest of the team.

“I think Ella was a great leader by example,” said Sturm. “She always hustled, she always did the right things, she was always a positive person. She was very hard on herself — but to herself — it never spilled to other people. If something didn’t go right in the field or a plate performance it was clear she was disappointed, but it would never become the center of attention. She’s just very mature when it comes to handling those adversities.” 

Despite her OHS softball career being over, Strickland plans to further her athletic career in college after committing to Division I Murray State. 

“I am so excited to be a Racer,” said Strickland. “I know they have a great program down there at Murray and I can’t wait to start!”