No, this isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke… this really IS our National Player of the Week posting and it was the toughest call we’ve had in two years as there were multiple strong candidates across the nation. Ultimately we went with perfection as you’ll see below…
Extra Inning Softball’s National High School Player of the Week
You can’t have a better week at the plate than Leea Hanks did as the 2019 outfielder for Eustis (Florida) High went 12-for-12 with two inside-the-park home runs, three doubles and a triple to earn Extra Inning Softball’s National High School Player of the Week honors.
Leea, a Notre Dame signee and a top 20 ranked player in the 2019 Extra Elite 100, would tell you that the most important part of her big week at the plate was that the team has jumped out to a 13-0 mark.
The Panthers are currently ranked 2nd in Class 5A and in Central Florida by the Orlando Sentinel (behind Winter Springs High) and 8th overall in the Sunshine State for all classifications.
And guess who Eustis faces this Thursday? Yep, Winter Springs.
“It should be a barn-burner!” Leea’s father, William says.
Leea is batting an impressive .735 on the year with 36 hits in 49 at-bats and has only struck out twice all year. She has been a four-year starter in centerfield for Coach Brittany Beall’s team and the coach says she’s “doing fantastic” in a new role for the team, batting in the 3-hole.
“Leea’s seeing the ball great and is a triple threat at the plate,” says the head coach. “She’s a great leader, both by example and vocally. Leea definitely works hard in practice and is one of those athletes who practices like she plays. She is very encouraging to our younger players, always encouraging them to bring their best to the game each and every day.”
Leea says there’s a reason she’s taken her game to another level this season.
“Something that has pushed me this past week was the fact that Coach Beall just took maternal leave,” the senior begins. “I know she expects me to lead my younger teammates and push them to be the best. This year I’ve really embraced my leadership role. I really try to set an example for my teammates and leave my mark.”
She says she wasn’t aware during the week that she hadn’t made an out.
“I did not know that I had the perfect week!” she told Extra Inning Softball today. “I’ve been so focused on taking it one game at a time, it is nice to know that my hard work has been paying off.”
Away from the high school fields, the Florida athlete has won two club national championships (Boulder IDT and Triple Crown Sports) with Jersey Intensity coached by Kevin O’Donnell, but travel ball is a ways down the road.
Coming up first is the Winter Springs game and a chance for Leea to continue leading the Panthers towards a Class 5A title.
Runner-Up Players of the Week
* Sydney Supple, the senior pitcher/first baseman with the Oshkosh (Wisconsin) North Spartans kicked off the season with four non-conference games wins against teams from Florida and Alabama during the Midwest team’s spring training in Florida. The Northwestern signee recorded three complete game wins and smacked a home run each of the first three games. In her 20 innings of work on the mound she also struck out 32 batters. The two-time Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year and 1st Team Extra-Inning All American showed her strength on both sides of the plate hitting .550 with a .667 on-base percentage and six RBIs. She was intentionally walked three times during the team’s win over Florida's 7A 2018 State runner-up, Niceville High, the fourth game of the week.
* Taylor Pannell, a freshman at Rock Island (Illinois) High and an Auburn commit had a great week offensively and defensively. The lead-off hitter and shortstop/third baseman went 12-for-16 in four games (.750) average and had three home runs, eight RBIs and seven steals with no errors in the field. Her Rocks team is the defending Illinois 4A state champs and defeated the Class 2A defending title winners, Rockridge High, 8-3 as Taylor went 3-for-4 and was just a double away from the cycle. She also had two RBI and two steals in the win.
* Keegan Moore, another freshman standout, had a big outing for her Ironton (Ohio) High team which is now 3-0 on the year. Keeagan got her second win from the circle as she racked up 18 strikeouts of the 21 Raceland (Kentucky) High batters she faced in the 5-1 win. Keagan also caught a line drive, fielded a bunt and made the out at first base, and caught a pop up for the last play of the game.
* Kiana “Kiki” Estrada, a freshman infielder for Chino Hills (California) High, only had game last week but the Arkansas Razorback commit made the most of it as she went 3-for-4 with two home runs, a single and six RBIs. In 20 games on the season she is hitting .481 with 26 RBI on five home runs, 20 runs scored and a .524 on-base percentage. Kiki was ranked in the Top 30 of the 2022 Extra Elite 100.
* Pitcher Chyanne Ellett improved to 15-1 on the season as she led Brownwood (Texas) High with a one-hitter and a two-hitter in which she had 15 and 16 strikeouts, respectively, with no earned runs this week. The Memphis signee also went 3-for-7 with three RBI at the plate and for the season has 239 K’s to only 22 walks. For her career Chaynne has 1,074 strikeouts for the District 7-4A program.
* Madelynn Solow a junior centerfielder for West Penn Charter (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) High batted .617 for the week as her Quakers team travelled to Tennessee where it played eight games and made several outstanding diving catches in the outfield. She returned home Friday for the school’s first home game and hit two home runs including one over the 220-foot centerfield wall.
* Kayla Sullivan, an 8th grader playing varsity for her Lewis County (Vanceburg, Kentucky) High team and hit .467 for the week in four games and in one game went 4-for-4 with two home runs and seven RBI. She would have had three home runs, but a teammate gave her a high five before she touched the plate and the umpires ruled it was a triple and an out. Kayla plays shortstop and utility.
* Lexi Voss, the outstanding centerfielder for Marist (Chicago, Illinois) High and a National Player of the Week from 2018, is having another strong season as a senior. The Michigan signee went 6-for-9 (.667 batting average) and had two home runs, seven RBI, scored six runs and had a .700 on-base percentage
* Brantleigh Parrott, a freshman pitcher/utility player for Central Cabarrus (Concord, North Carolina) went 7-for-13 at the plate and pitched 9 2/3rd innings including a complete seven-inning game and had 16 strikeouts versus just two walks and allowed just two earned runs. She is committed to the Lander University Bearcats.
* Finally, special mention goes to junior pitcher Kailee Simpson, who pitches for the Russellville (Arkansas) JV squad. The night before the school’s softball season started, she broke her wrist in two places and for three weeks had a cast from her non-pitching wrist to her shoulder. This week she pitched with a cast up to her left elbow which allowed her to pitch and in two games she threw no-hitters. This after having reconstructive ankle surgery last season. That’s perseverance!
Previous 2019 Extra Inning Softball National High School Players of the Week
- Mar. 25: P/IF Madison Inscoe (Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Suffolk, Virginia)
- Mar. 18: 1B/OF Avery Goelz (Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton, Florida)
- Mar. 11: OF/2B Tanya Windle (Cactus, Glendale, Arizona)
- Mar. 4: SS Hallie Wacaser (Bentonville West, Centerton, Arkansas)
- Feb. 25: P Stevie Hansen (Norco, California)
Each week during the spring and summer high school seasons, Extra Inning Softball will honor a National High School Player of the Week.
The honoree will be announced every Monday night/Tuesday morning; cutoff for submitting the nominations is each Sunday at 11 pm EST/8 pm PST.
We’re looking for standouts who excelled in the circle, at the plate or in the field so be sure to nominate your favorite performance(s) by submitting the following:
- Player Name
- Grad Year (example: Class of 2018 or Senior)
- High school team name with city/state
- Stats for the week (be as detailed as possible!)
- Up-to-date season stats if possible
- Recruiting information if applicable
- Any interesting background on the player
- Action and/or head shots
- If possible, contact info if we’d like more info or quotes
Email your info and photos (1-4 as available) by the cutoff of Sunday 11 pm EST/ 8 pm PST to: firstname.lastname@example.org.