This week we revealed our 1st Team Extra Inning Softball All-Americans and one of those was “Multi-Purpose” standout Annabelle Widra from Hoover, Alabama.
Annabelle had a huge high school season but she’s been on the national radar since she was an All-State honoree in the 7th grade.
In our spotlight today, she talks about the recruiting process when she originally committed to Oklahoma State, but put herself back on the market saying, “I really felt a lot of internal pressure to make the right decision quickly.”
Today, she stands as one of the top all-around players in the incoming junior class and a prospect we, frankly, rated too low in our 2021 Extra Elite 100 rankings done in January (that will change in the next update!).
She’s been offered by at least a dozen Div. I schools from major conferences like the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and more.
Here’s a closer look at this talented pitcher/hitter/infielder who even learned a new position this year…
NAME: ANNABELLE WIDRA
Hometown/State: Hoover, Alabama
Grad Year: 2021
Club Team: Birmingham Thunderbolts 02
High School (City/State): Spain Park (Hoover, Alabama)
Top Honors/Accomplishments: 2021 Extra Elite 100, Extra Inning Softball 1s t Team All-American; Max Preps All America Sophomore team; NFCA High School All-American (Pitcher); NFCA Regional 1st Team (Utility Player); Class 7A Area 6 All-Tournament Team, Class 7A Area 6 Tournament MVP, Over-The-Mountain Player of the Year, Over-The-Mountain-Team, Shelby County Player of the Year, Alabama Sports Writers All-State Team
High School Stats (2019): 46 games played; pitching— 22-2, 1.33 ERA, 137 innings pitched, 237 K’s, 12 shut-outs, 10 one-hit games and two no-hit games; batting—.504 , 72 hits, 70 RBIs, 18 doubles, four triples, six home runs (three times led off the game with a home run), 32 stolen bases.
Other Sports: Indoor Track and Field
Congratulations on being named a 1s t Team Extra Inning Softball All-American as a “Multi-Purpose” standout... what does being an All-American mean to you, especially as just a sophomore this past year?
It is a great honor to be named an All-American. It is an honor to be recognized for my God-given abilities and the hard work I have put into this sport. I am thankful for all the opportunities this sport has given me. I am excited about my next two years of high school and am looking forward to playing ball at the next level. It is an honor to be recognized as a multi-purpose player. I am grateful that I am allowed to be a middle infielder and a pitcher.
Speaking of which, you’re a standout pitcher and infielder, does one come easier to you than the other? How do you see yourself: a pitcher first or a position player first?
I love playing both positions, however, I feel that playing an infield position comes easier than pitching. Being a pitcher takes a lot of responsibility and a lot of work. My love has always been playing in the infield, but I enjoy being in control of the game when in the circle.
Pitching was hardly an option for me when I was younger because I was too small. I was given the opportunity to pitch when I was in seventh grade. I see myself as an infielder first because I have always played in the infield since I was six. I feel that when it comes down to making a decision on whether I play infield or pitch is based on who we play and what type of situation we are in. I am the type of person who just wants to play and win.
What would make you most proud: to pitch a perfect game or hit four home runs in a game?
One of my goals as a pitcher is to pitch a perfect game. I feel that as a pitcher pitching a perfect would be a huge accomplishment for me.
Tell us about the recruiting process and how it went the first time…
I started my recruiting process when I was in the eighth grade. Being an eighth grader, I was excited that colleges started looking at me. My recruiting process continued into my freshman year. I enjoyed going on all the trips and visits and being able to see how each campus was different was so awesome to me.
The most stressful part of the process for me was balancing the multiple phone calls, school work, lessons, practices, and a social life. With the process, there became an immense amount of pressure that I put on myself to make the right decision about my future as a 15-year old. I really did a poor job of making my decision to commit the first time. I really felt a lot of internal pressure to make the right decision quickly.
I really made my commitment to stop the process instead of making it for the right reasons. I’m so glad the rule changed for the coaches to contact players and make offers. I personally was not mature enough to make such an important decision at such a young age. I am thankful that I get another opportunity to get it right this time.
What did you like about the recruiting process and what was problematic for you the first time?
I enjoyed the long road trips to each school and going to get gear from the school store. One of my favorite things was being able to be with all the coaches and meet some of the players.
I enjoyed going to all the different types of sporting events they had planned for me and exploring the school atmosphere. One of the worst parts for me was missing out on fun school events my freshman year like football Friday nights.