2024 Northwest Herald Softball Player of the Year: Prairie Ridge’s Adysen Kiddy

Wolves junior shortstop blasts school-record 14 home runs in memorable season

Prairie Ridge’s Ady Kiddy checks in to bat against Harvard during Class 3A softball regional final action at Lions Park in Harvard Saturday.

Prairie Ridge softball coach Scott Busam changed his approach after a 14-14 season in 2023 and shared more responsibilities with his players.

One of those players was junior shortstop Adysen Kiddy, an NCAA Division I Illinois commit.

“I changed almost everything about the way I coached and I felt I needed to reinvent myself at Prairie Ridge this year,” said Busam, in his second season at the school. “That started with what I asked Adysen to do, which was pretty much everything. Be a leader, hit lead off, steal bases, be vocal, coach on the field, command the dugout, take cuts from the outfield.

“She’s a terrifying hitter and nearly impossible to strike out. She’s a great teammate and a spectacular defender.”

Kiddy took her new role and ran with it, helping lead the Wolves to a memorable and historic season. Kiddy hit .525 with eight doubles, two triples and a school-record 14 home runs for Prairie Ridge, which finished 25-6 and won its first regional championship since 2018.

Kiddy recorded a team-high 41 RBIs and 54 runs scored with nine steals, walking 15 times and striking out three times in 116 plate appearances. She was named to the Illinois Coaches Association’s All-State first team in Class 3A.

For her standout season, Kiddy was named the 2024 Northwest Herald Softball Player of the Year by the sports staff with input from area coaches. Huntley senior first baseman Meghan Ryan, Hampshire junior shortstop Bria Riebel and Marengo sophomore shortstop Gabby Christopher also were considered.

Kiddy recently talked to sports writer Alex Kantecki about the Wolves’ outstanding season.

Prairie Ridge's Adysen Kiddy makes a diving stop during their Class 3A sectional final against Sycamore Friday, May 31, 2024, at Sycamore High School.

What will you remember most about this past season?

Kiddy: The team and the great camaraderie we had. We all worked so well together. Everyone did their part this season, and I think that’s what made it really special.

What is one game this season that sticks out in your memory?

Kiddy: Definitely the regional championship game against Harvard. Everyone contributed, and it was just a great team win. None of us had won a regional before, so that was really special.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Kiddy: Probably Hawaii because of the beaches and heat.

Who has had the biggest influence on you as an athlete?

Kiddy: Definitely my parents. I grew up in a very motivational and sports-driven household, and my parents really helped me every step of the way. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.

You just won a million dollars. What is the first thing you would buy?

Kiddy: A beach house.

What is a sport you would be bad at?

Kiddy: Swimming and golf.

Who is your favorite professional athlete?

Kiddy: Someone from the Cubs. Cody Bellinger or Dansby Swanson.

Which teammate makes you laugh the most?

Kiddy: This is hard. I have a lot of really funny teammates. Probably Emily Harlow or Mary Myers.

Which teammate inspires you?

Kiddy: Reese Mosolino is so hard-working and so dedicated and she inspires me so much. I admire her drive to win and just to constantly get better.

Who is the toughest pitcher you faced this season?

Kiddy: That’s really hard, we have a lot of really good competition that we face. Harvard’s Tallulah Eichholz in our regional championship game. She just really owns the field and has good command of the ball.

What personal accomplishment are you most proud of?

Kiddy: Honestly, I’m just really proud of how far we made it this season because I’ve never been a part of something like that in high school before. That was pretty cool.

What is your favorite comfort food?

Kiddy: Sushi or chicken.

What is your favorite class in school?

Kiddy: My favorite class is Spanish.

Do you have any big summer plans?

Kiddy: Just traveling with my softball team [Illinois Chill]. We’re going to Colorado and California this summer, so we’re kind of making that into a vacation also.

What are some of your favorite TV shows?

Kiddy: My favorite show is “New Girl” and I also like “Friends” and “The Bachelor.”

What are you looking forward to next year?

Kiddy: I’m really just looking forward to spending more time with my team. We just had such a good time together this year, and I feel that’s why we did so well this year. I’m going to miss the seniors a lot. My favorite part was being together and spending time with the team. The people really made the difference.

Prairie Ridge’s Ady Kiddy sprints to first after making contact against Harvard during Class 3A softball regional final action at Lions Park in Harvard Saturday.
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