We announce this week’s Extra Inning Softball National High School Player of the Week awards by honoring a player who had a perfect game to start her season off after winning Gatorade State Player of the Year honors last year as a sophomore.
Extra Inning Softball’s National High School Player of the Week
It was the opening game and only contest of the week for Bentonville West (Centerton, Arkansas) High but it couldn’t have been any more perfect for junior shortstop Hallie Wacaser (pronounced “WAY-case-er”).
The Florida State commit got the year off to a perfect start last Friday night as she went 3-for-3 with three home runs and six RBIs in a 10-5 win over Greenbrier High.
She also had a walk and stolen base with video-game-like stats of a 4.000 slugging percentage and 5.000 OPS.
Hallie was only a grand slam away from the cycle and, ironically, was in attendance at the Arkansas game when Danielle Gibson hit the home run cycle on Saturday, February 23.
Hallie won’t have a chance to put up any more big stats for a while—the high temperature today in Bentonville was 22 degrees (the low was a bone-chilling five degrees), and school was cancelled today.
“All of our games were cancelled this week because it’s so cold,” the slugger explains. “Our winters are so weird—it will be really cold one day and warm the next.”
The Wolverines won’t play again until a week from Tuesday (March 12) and then will have games on March 14, 15 and 16.
Hallie is well on her way to breaking her personal home run record which was 10 home runs in 31 games. She also had 42 RBIs and .495 batting average to earn Gatorade State Player of the Year honors as just a sophomore. As a freshman, she named as the Arkansas Newcomer of the Year.
She got her junior season off with a bang as the third home run was a laser shot that she thought was going to be a triple—she actually hesitated at second, confused when she saw the shortstop with the ball—but the runner ahead of her was jogging from third to home.
“I watched the runner ahead of me slow down and I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ I didn’t see it hit the scoreboard, I heard it and thought it hit the top of the fence and bounced back in. I couldn’t go until I heard it was a home run!”
Hallie, who was tested at a college camp with an 83 mph bat exit speed, hit the last homer an approximate 240 feet as the fence in center at Bentonville High is 220 feet and the scoreboard is about five feet behind the wall.
Like the first home run, the athlete said she anticipated correctly what the pitch was going to be.
“I definitely knew she was going to throw me a change-up and knew I had to stay back and go through the ball. I could just feel it.”
Excited for her team this year, Hallie and her fellow Wolverines feel like they have a great chance to win state this season after finishing second at the 7A level in 2018--the highest level in the state--to neighboring school Bentonville High.
“We beat them a week before state, so it was hard to lose,” Hallie recalls. “But I definitely feel like we have a very good chance to go all the way this year.”
Runner-Up National High School Players of the Week
* Avalon Sanchez, a junior catcher and third baseman for Hyde Park (Austin, Texas) High, a TAPPS Division II, also had a perfect week as she went 8-for-8 with two home runs, two triples, eight runs scored and 13 RBI as she led her team to a 3-0 record. For the season, she is batting an unheard of .894 (17-for-19) with 25 RBI and has helped her team to a 6-1-1 mark.
* Junior Erika Andal, a speedy infielder committed to Boston College who plays for Pembroke Pines Charter (Florida) and was selected last September as a member of the 2020 Extra Elite 100, batted .571 for the week. Last Monday she had a big game as her Jaguars’ team, which was the 2018 Class 7A State Champs and #19 ranked squad in the Extra Elite 80 preseason rankings, beat defending Class 9A state champion Western (Davie, Florida) High 2-0; in the game Erika went 3-for-4 and is now batting .417 on the young season.
* Kylah Berry, a freshman pitcher for the Lady Raiders of Rockledge (Florida) High, pitched a complete game no-hitter vs. Eau Galle High and leads Florida in all classes 39 strikeouts as she’s 3-0 in the circle and went 6-for-11 (.545 average) at the plate.
* Keira "K-Bar" Bucher, another standout freshman pitcher, went 2-0 for Mission Bay (San Diego, California) High and in 14 innings had 13 strikeouts while going 5-for-6 with a pair of doubles. She’s alos the goalie for Mission Bay’s JV soccer team.
* Brianna Lopez, a sophomore lefty pitcher for Ramona (Riverside, California) High went 4-1 for the week and helped her team finish 3rd in the Jurupa Valley Tournament in which she pitched a no-hitter against Rubidoux High. For the week she limited opponents to a .137 batting average as she compiled a 0.50 ERA with 36 K’s in 28 innings. Bri is also batting .438 through her team’s first five games.
Previous 2019 Extra Inning Softball National High School Players of the Week
- 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: email@example.com.