Ex-Bountiful High softball star goes Division 1Jun 06, 2022 01:04PM ● By Alec Cipollini
BOUNTIFUL– After a terrific season with College of Southern Idaho in the National Junior College Athletic Association, former Bountiful High School softball catcher Sophia Stoddard has decided to take her talents to Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho.
With a statline of having a .390 batting average and 16 home runs, at the time of reporting, the Golden Eagles sophomore announced her decision to transfer to Idaho State on Apr. 21 as her team and coaches celebrated her announcement in Twin Falls, Idaho.
She has dreamed of playing at the Division 1 level of softball since she was a kid and said that all of her hard work paid off.
“I think it is something that you always dream about as a little girl–to play softball at the highest level,” Stoddard said. “Practicing and trying to get better everyday got me here. Division 1 softball was something that I always worked towards.”
Before going to college, Stoddard played three full seasons with Bountiful High until her senior year was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stoddard is the sister of former Bountiful High standout and Snow College player Belle Stoddard, and credited her with introducing the sport to her at a young age.
“Belle was always playing at a higher level than me,” Sophia Stoddard said. “Seeing her own the game inspired me to keep playing and see how much I could get out of myself as a player.”
At the end of last season, she had a few offers from other colleges, but she elected to remain with CSI as she wanted to stay two years before looking elsewhere.
What made it appealing to go to Idaho State was that she had family ties to Pocatello and her mom was an alumni from the university.
“My family is from Pocatello and I love it there,” Stoddard said. “They got a new coach [Andrew Rich] there and I went to the camp there and that was amazing. My mom is also an alumni from Idaho State and to follow in her footsteps is pretty cool.”
Idaho State is in the Big Sky Conference of the NCAA, the same conference as Weber State University, and Stoddard said that she is excited to have the opportunity to play college softball close to home.
“It will be pretty awesome,” she said. “I remember watching Weber State playing as a little girl and wanting to be on their field someday. The fact that I can make those dreams come true and to play in front of my family will be a great feeling.”
Stoddard completed the rest of the season with College of Southern Idaho as they hosted the Region 18 Tournament on May 11-13.
When looking back at the past, Stoddard said that both situations at Bountiful High and CSI were similar, and beneficial.
“I evolved as a student-athlete and as a person at both schools,” Stoddard said. “I was a freshman catcher last year for CSI and there weren't any sophomore or later catchers that were in front of me to learn from. It was kind of like the same situation in high school where I had to own the field right out of the gate and be a leader.”
Bountiful High School has a special place in her heart and she learned valuable lessons that she has taken with her to the next level of college softball and in life.
“My coaches and teammates at Bountiful had me for almost four years and they pushed me everyday to be even better,” Stoddard said. “No matter how good I was, they emphasized that there is always room for more and if I wanted to do work for something, they would try to get me there.” l