We announce this week’s Extra Inning Softball National High School Player of the Week awards by returning to the Lone Star State to feature a player who’s not only having a good week, but a great run over the last few weeks as she looks to lead her team to another Texas state title.
And our runner up is one of the top catchers in the nation in any classification who is now starting to come back from injury to show why she’s an elite prospect going to the two-time defending DI champion Oklahoma Sooners.
If you'd like to nominate players for future consideration, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're looking for top performances in high school play each week that can be on a single game or cumulative week-by-week basis.
Extra Inning Softball’s National High School Player of the Week
Kasey Simpson (Keller, Texas)
Keller High is ranked #5 in the nation by MaxPreps.com, won its district title and will be the #1 seed when the playoffs start next week. A major reason why is the hot hitting of senior shortstop Kasey Simpson, an Iowa State signee, who has been on fire as of late.
Leading the Indians to a 26-2-1 mark heading into the playoffs, she has batted .429 on the season with six home runs and 41 RBI and Kasey is closing the season peaking offensively.
Over the last two weeks the Texas infielder has played five games with three of them against competing squads that will be in the Texas 6A playoffs and has gone 9-for-16 (.563 average) with eight of the hits being for extra bases. She has two home runs during that span, including a grand slam, with a triple, five doubles, 18 RBI and nine runs scored.
This week she went 2-for-4 on Tuesday with a double and a pair of RBI and on Friday went 1-for-3 with two more runs knocked in and another pair scored.
Because Keller is so dominant, they frequently don’t play seven innings as they run-rule many opposing teams so the future Iowa State Cyclone doesn’t get as many at-bats as some, but she is certainly making the most of them.
For the season, the senior’s slugging percentage is 1.375 and her OBPS is a stellar 1.930 and she’s yet to strike out.
Heading into the playoffs Kasey says, “This season is going really well. We are exactly where we want to be and are excited to see how far we can go.”
As for her strong senior season, which makes her a leading candidate to be an Extra Inning Softball All-American, Kasey explains, “I have been working on my patience at the plate because a lot of teams aren’t going to throw many pitches we can hit. I’m waiting for the pitch I want to hit so I’m able to produce for my team.”
“Over the last year, my mental game has grown and my mind set is, ‘What can I do for my team? How can I help my team win?’ It’s really improved my game and I'm having a lot of fun.”
[On a side note: one of Kasey’s teammates—sophomore third baseman Riley Love, who is committed to Texas Tech--has been preoccupied not just with school and softball, but worrying about her mother, Jennifer, who recently underwent breast cancer surgery.
In a great show of concern and love, the Indians’ team recently choreographed a dance routine after a game for the softball mom that you won’t want to miss!]
Runner-Up National Player of the Week
Kinzie Hansen (Norco, California)
After missing the fall club season with a nerve injury in her knee and missing a half dozen games earlier his year, Kinzie—a junior standout catcher/infielder--has come back with a vengeance.
Showing why she is considered one of the top prospects in the 2019 class, the Oklahoma commit has had 12 hits and 12 RBI in Norco’s last half dozen games and, while helping lead the Cougars to a 19-3 mark (14-2 since her return), Kinzie is batting .523 for the season with 20 RBI in her 13 games played.
All that despite a bizarre loss to San Marcos 3-2 Saturday that had two stoppages, according to SoCalSidelines.com, due to two funeral processions and after the second one the game had to continue under silent rules with no cheering from the crowd.
When healthy, Hansen, who know plays for Mike Stith’s OC Batbusters 18U team after having won a PGF 14U National Championship when with the Athletics-Mercado team, is so talented one coach thinks she will be one of the Olympic catchers in the 2024 Games for Team USA.
Previous Extra Inning Softball National High School Players of the Week
- April 15: SS Jayda Coleman (The Colony, Texas)
- April 8: P Megan Faraimo (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego, California)
- April 1: C Macy Simmons (Hamilton, Chandler, Arizona)
- March 25: C Paige Pfent (Springstead, Spring Hill, Florida)
- March 18: SS/OF Deja Westbrook (Arcadia, California)
- March 11: P Megan Faraimo (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego, California)