The 2021 DII softball season is here. While not every conference has opened play just yet, it’s time to look at the top returning home run hitters.

Selections were based off of stats from 2020. But because last season was cut short, this list will be broken down into two parts: the top five returning hitters in total home runs and the top five in home runs per game.

Since three players rank in the top five of each category, there are only seven names on this list. Finally, hitters must have played at least 15 games to qualify.

Hover over the tables and scroll to view them in full. 

Total home runs in 2020 (returning players)

Rank Player, School 2021 CLASS Position HR  Games
1 Logan Hill, Valdosta State Senior UTL 11 23
2 Kylee Leonhardt, Lenoir-Rhyne Senior C/1B 10 23
T-3 Ruby Salzman, West Texas A&M Redshirt sophomore OF 9 18
T-3 Kayson Boatner, Anderson (SC) Junior INF 9 20
T-3 Kaylee Jones, UVa-Wise Senior INF 9 24

Logan Hill, Valdosta State — 11 home runs in 23 games (0.48 per game)

Nobody hit more home runs in 2020 than Logan Hill. The senior had three multi-home run games, and led Valdosta State with a batting average of .406. She also had a team-high 25 RBIs, four doubles and finished with a slugging percentage of .984. Hill is one of the three players that landed in the top five for total home runs and home runs per game.

Kylee Leonhardt, Lenoir-Rhyne — 10 home runs in 23 games (0.43 per game)

Kylee Leonhardt batted .420, drove in a team-high 27 runs and hit three doubles during the brief 2020 campaign. The catcher, who also plays first base, finished with a slugging percentage of .899.

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Ruby Salzman, West Texas A&M — 9 home runs in 18 games (0.50 per game)

Ruby Salzman’s home runs per game average of 0.50 was the highest in DII last season. She’s also one of the three hitters that ranked in the top five for home runs and home runs per game. The outfielder ended 2020 with 23 RBI — four coming on a grand slam in her first plate appearance of the season.

Kayson Boatner, Anderson (SC) — 9 home runs in 20 games (0.45 per game)

As a sophomore last season, Kayson Boatner accounted for half of the Trojans’ 18 home runs. She batted .358 and drove in a team-high 32 runs. Those 32 RBI are the most for anyone on this list. The infielder also hit five doubles. Boatner is the third and final player that finished within the top five of each home run category.

Kaylee Jones, UVa-Wise — 9 home runs in 24 games (0.38 per game) 

Cavaliers infielder Kaylee Jones was one of the more dangerous hitters in 2020. In addition to her nine home runs, Jones batted .446 with a slugging percentage of 1.046 and had 23 RBI. She also hit 10 doubles and one triple. Both her batting average and slugging percentage rank first on this list.

Home runs per game in 2020 (returning players)

Rank Player, School 2021 CLASS Position HR per game Games
1 Ruby Salzman, West Texas A&M Redshirt sophomore OF 0.50 18
2 Logan Hill, Valdosta State Senior UTL 0.48 23
T-3 Jenna Witt, Concord Senior UTL 0.47 15
T-3 Rachel Griffin, Davenport Junior INF 0.47 17
T-4* Kayson Boatner, Anderson (SC) Junior INF 0.45 20

*Saint Rose infielder Savanna Liverio also averaged 0.45 home runs, but played only 11 games in 2020. 

Jenna Witt, Concord — 0.47 home runs per game (7 total)

In addition to her seven home runs, Jenna Witt batted .408 and recorded 15 RBI during the 2020 season. The veteran Mountain Lion also hit four doubles and struck out just three times in 49 plate appearances. 

Rachel Griffin, Davenport — 0.47 home runs per per game (8 total)

Rachel Griffin batted .392 with a slugging percentage of .941 last season. The infielder finished with eight home runs, four doubles and 24 RBI. 

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