We begin the 2020 Extra Inning Softball National High School Player of the Week selections by honoring a Texas standout who had an explosive first week to lead the country in home runs!
Games are for Sunday, Feb. 16 through Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020…
Extra Inning Softball’s National High School Player of the Week
* Micaela Wark, a junior infielder/pitcher for Reedy High in Frisco, Texas was in the zone to start her season, going 10-for-16 (.626 average) with six home runs, two doubles and 13 RBIs in six games to earn her National High School Player of the Week honors.
Micaela compiled a .684 on-base percentage and a 2.667 OPS as she helped the Lions begin the year with a 4-2 record. This isn't the first time she's been on our National High School Player of the Week pages; Micaela was a Runner-Up exactly a year ago this week.
The 2021 Extra Elite 100 standout credits her fast start to her team working hard in the off-season.
“I was hopeful that I would start strong this season,” Micaela said. “My teammates and I put in the hard work this fall and I think that reflects on how all of us are hitting. Under Coach (Brook) Cline’s leadership, we are able to practice game-like situations with high expectations, which gives us the benefit of playing well on the field.”
It’s not like the Kansas commit wasn’t expected to put up big numbers—as a junior she hit .596 with 16 home runs and 57 RBIs and even pitched, starting 29 games with 149 K’s.
We asked Micaela what she did in the off-season to improve her game.
“I participated in an EXOS Sports Performance Program during the off-season,” she explained, “and that really contributed to my strength and confidence. By surrounding myself with people who know and play the game the best, I learn so much from that alone.”
She continued, “My coaches--Kevin Shelton, Jason Gwyn and Brook Cline—teach me the mechanics and mental aspects of the game, then by practicing with my dad I can implement those tips they give me into my game.”
A versatile athlete who can lineup in any spot on the infield, Micaela has great lower strength and should be an early contributor to the Jayhawks when she hits the Big 12 school next year.
Micaela committed to Kansas on October 5, 2019 and says there were multiple reasons she chose KU.
“I chose Kansas because of the beautiful facility and campus,” the 2021 grad continued. “Kansas has an amazing and experienced coaching staff led by softball Olympian Jennifer McFalls. I look forward to playing with the other local commits like Savannah DesRochers who plays on my Texas Glory team, as well as Toni McInnis, who has played with me since 12U and is on both my high school and Glory team.”
Runner-Up Players of the Week
* Leilani Pulemau, a junior infielder for Carson (California) High and Mississippi State commit, kicked off her 2020 season by going 5-for-8 with two home runs, six runs scored and 10 RBIs. Her home runs came in her first plate appearance of two separate games and the SEC-bound power-hitter said she was seeing the ball well.
“I’ve just been seeing beach balls out there lately,” Leilania told Extra Inning Softball, “because when I’m in the 4 or 5-spot in the lineup, I got that extra time and utilize it by studying what the pitchers go-to pitches are and also working on my timing in the dugout. In those two games, I noticed the pitcher, or the coach calling the pitch, loved the inside more than the outside pitch so as I stepped up to the plate with my game plan, I was looking for that one pitch, and when I saw both pitchers actually try me on the inside, I ripped it and immediately knew it was gone. The feeling and the sound of that ball bouncing off that sweet spot on the bat is like no other!”
* Ella Parker, a talented lefty pitcher/hitter ranked in the Top 5 of the 2023 Extra Elite 100, has been one of the national leaders in hitting in this early part of the season as she started the year for Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, California) High hitting 17-for-22 (.773) with 16 RBIs and four triples in seven games. She also started off the year going 3-1 in the circle for the Knights.
* Jayda Coleman, the #1 ranked player in the 2020 Extra Elite 100 and a 1st Team All-American from The Colony (Texas) High, hit .765 in her first seven games of the season going 13-for-17 with four walks with 11 steals.
* Avery Goelz, the senior 1B/OF for the #1 team in the country, Lakewood Ranch of Bradenton, Florida, got off to a hot start after her 1st Team All-American junior campaign. The Florida signee went 5-for-7 with a pair of home runs and six RBIs to lead the Mustangs to a 3-0 start.
* Alyssa Brito, a senior outfielder for Pacifica (Garden Grove, California) High and Oregon signee, started her season by going 4-for-5 with two homers, five runs scored and five RBIs to lead the Mariners to 15-1 and 18-0 non-league victories over El Modena High of Orange, CA, on Saturday at Pacifica High.
How to Submit a Nomination
Each week during the spring and summer high school seasons, Extra Inning Softball will honor a National High School Player of the Week for games the preceding Sunday through Saturday.
The honoree will be announced every Tuesday (after this week); the cutoff for submitting the nominations is each Monday at noon EST/9 am PST.
We’re looking for standouts who excelled in the circle, at the plate or in the field so be sure to nominate favorite performance(s) by submitting the following:
- Player Name
- Grad Year (example: Class of 2020 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 info and photos (1-4 as available) by the cutoff of Monday at noon EST/9 am PST to: firstname.lastname@example.org.