Mississippi State Signs Versatile Infielder In Leilani Pulemau
STARKVILLE – Mississippi State’s softball program added versatile infielder Leilani Pulemau out of Carson High School in Gardena, California, on National Signing Day.
Pulemau led her team to the 2018 Marine League Championship while earning First Team All-League and Rookie of the Year honors with a .463 slugging percentage. The following season, she posted a .777 slugging mark and earned Second Team All-Marine League honors.
“Leilani is an outstanding athlete and versatile player that can play anywhere in the infield,” head coach Samantha Ricketts said. “She brings a mix of power and athleticism that makes her a complete player, both offensively and defensively. She’s been well-coached in the SoCal Athletics organization run by Ken Briggs and carries herself with a competitive, energetic spirit that is fun to watch.”
Pulemau’s junior season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she was named a team captain that year and finished as runner-up for national high school player of the week honors.
“Visiting MSU blew me away,” Pulemau said. “Walking onto that campus and getting a feel for the staff and the athletes in the program was absolutely amazing. I felt as if I’d just walked into my new home. From the jump, I was automatically welcomed, and I enjoyed every second spent on that visit. The program in general is very family-oriented, and they are super competitive. Being able to have a coaching staff that pushes you to be better, all while making sure you are physically and mentally at the next level, means the absolute world to me.”
Pulemau has been named a captain again heading into her senior year and captains her travel team. She is a three-time member of the Silver Honor Roll with a minimum of a 3.8 GPA over her freshman, sophomore and junior years.
“Leilani brings incredible bat speed and athleticism to the lineup,” assistant coach Tyler Bratton said. “She has power to all parts of the field at the plate and shows big time range on the left side of the infield. She is the type of explosive athlete that we have seen do very well in our lineup in recent years, and we are excited to continue to witness her growth and development in a Mississippi State uniform.”
Mississippi State softball signed five student-athletes on National Signing Day on Nov. 11. State’s class was ranked No. 26 by Extra Innings Softball, and all but one signee was among the top 100 in the class. The Bulldogs will release their final in-depth look at each signee next week.
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