It’s no question that Julia Bomhardt has made a name for herself as one of the top outfielders in the Henlopen Conference the past two seasons, getting an Honorable Mention nod as a freshman and honored as a First-Team All-Conference softball selection for 2016.
But last week, the Indian River High School sophomore earned some statewide recognition as well, when Bomhardt was named to the Delaware Softball Coaches Association (DSCA) All-State team.
“All-State is always tough [to make],” said IR head coach Erika Brittingham — an All-State selection herself during her pitching days at Sussex Central High School.
“There’s so many girls in the state to pick from and so many girls on the list — I think her numbers really spoke for themselves. She’s a game-changer.”
A Second-Team selection, Bomhardt is the first softball player from IR to make the cut since pitcher Rachel Hudson, shortstop Karlie Smith and second-baseman Ana Impastato earned All-State honors as seniors back in 2014.
This past season, Bomhardt stepped up to fill the offensive void left by her cousin, catcher Eliza Bomhardt, who had to sit out her senior campaign with a knee injury.
The sophomore slugger lead the Indians in six different categories, including batting avg. (.474), hits (27), triples (two), on base percentage (.500), slugging percentage (.632), stolen bases (four) and total bases (36).
She was also second on the team in doubles (five), RBI’s (16), extra base hits (seven), batting avereage with runners in scoring position (.519) and two-out RBIs (seven). She was third on the team in runs scored (13).
As the Indians’ centerfielder, she led with a perfect fielding average (1.000) and tallied 14 put-outs on 17 chances, while committing no errors and racking up three assists.
“In the outfield, one of her best strengths is her tracking ability,” Brittingham said, noting that, as a freshman, Bomhardt joined upperclassmen Callie McDowell and Ky’Lesha Neal to make up the outfield.
“Another thing is her communication. I think she’s learned a lot from Callie and Ky on how to communicate. The three of them have communicated the best in the outfield that we’ve had at IR.”
Sophomore DH Damya Williams also earned a First-Team All-Conference selection, with junior Sami Mumford making the Second Team in her first season at first base (she earned All-Conference honors as a UT in 2015), and McDowell rounding out the list with an Honorable Mention in left field.
While the Indians will graduate McDowell, Neal and Eliza Bomhardt, they return seven starters and several contributing underclassmen next season.
Coming off a season where they narrowly missed the playoffs, Brittingham said that she hopes that Bomhardt’s recognition and leadership example motivates other players to work toward similar goals as the team tries to get back to the tournament and fill the void left by their departing seniors.
“I think it just makes everyone work harder … with the other girls seeing that she’s getting recognition for her numbers and work ethic and being a team leader,” Brittingham explained. “Her leadership goes above and beyond. She’s really just a great example of what an IR softball player should be.”