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Softball recruit Jessa Snippes looks ahead to joining UMN

The Rosemount native won Ms. Softball and Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year for 2023.
Image by Craig Lassing
In her senior year of high school she totaled 200 strikeouts throughout the season.

Pitcher Jessa Snippes stands out amongst Gophers softball’s talented recruiting class. The Minnesota native was named 2023 Ms. Softball and 2022-23 Minnesota Softball’s Gatorade Player of the Year.

During her senior year at Rosemount High School, she finished 17-0 with a 1.29 ERA in the regular season. She averaged nearly 10 strikeouts a game and totaled 200 strikeouts throughout the season.

At the plate, she was equally impressive, hitting .621 with 68 total RBIs. Her performance on both ends helped Rosemount win two state championships within three years (2021 and 2023).

Rosemount head coach Tiffany Rose saw how much Snippes’ personality and game matured throughout high school.

“Over the years, Jessa also developed an understanding of the mechanics of both pitching and hitting,” Rose said in an email to the Minnesota Daily. “She knows how to identify and correct the small parts of her mechanics if something is off.” 

Rose said it will help Snippes at the next level.

“This will play a role in her college success because, at the D1 level, it is all about the small details of the game,” she said.

On the topic of what made Snippes an appealing prospect, Gophers head coach Piper Ritter said “her ability to want to compete at the high level and be the best that she can be” stood out.

“I want the best players in Minnesota to play in Minnesota,” Ritter said. “When recruiting Jessa, she was the best player in her class.”

In her time coaching at Minnesota, Ritter has produced five of the best pitchers in the school’s history. Given her awarded talents, Snippes has an opportunity to add her name to the list of Gopher greats under Ritter’s dynasty.

In the meantime, Snippes has been playing for the Illinois Chill in preparation for the upcoming season.

“I’m really looking forward to [the season], developing as a player, learning from my coaches and being the best version of myself,” Snippes said.

Rose witnessed Snippes step up to the plate and the mound on the biggest stage. She believes this experience will translate well into college.

“Jessa is fun to watch; she gets better over the course of the season and plays her best at playoff time. She plays big in big moments,” Rose said.

Snippes describes herself as a strategic leader on the field. As for her playstyle, she attacks her opponent with aggression but her decision-making is more conserved. The two elements will continue to meld as one cohesive instinct as her career progresses, according to Snippes.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of improvements in different areas; it’s not always going to look the way a senior looks, you know, exiting their college career,” Ritter said. “But I do think that Jessa has a lot to gain. And I think, probably in our first two years, you’re going to see her work through some things and get a lot better at some stuff.”

When asked about what Gophers fans should look forward to seeing from her, Snippes said “ just from a pitching standpoint, discipline, hard work and knowing that I’ll always give one hundred percent.”

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