Pluschke hits the diamond as new Redmond High fastpitch coach

Mustangs return seven starters from last season.

Mike Pluschke. Courtesy photo

Mike Pluschke. Courtesy photo

Redmond High teacher and alumnus Mike Pluschke will step onto the diamond as the Mustangs’ new fastpitch softball head coach this season.

The skipper will coach his first game against Rogers of Puyallup at 5:30 p.m. March 18 at Hartman Park.

“My kids have played through the Redmond West Little League program growing up so I know these ladies and want to help them execute their goals, deal with adversity and learn lifelong lessons,” said Pluschke, who teaches physical education at RHS, graduated from the school in 1990 and formerly coached the Mustang varsity football squad, the boys varsity track team and was a varsity boys and girls basketball assistant.

Pluschke takes over the reins from Allison Mitchell, who was a head coach and assistant for the program for seven years and left the Mustangs last December for a head-coaching job at Central Washington University. She was the head coach at RHS since 2016. Last season, the Mustangs finished 26-3 and tied for third at the 4A state tournament.

In the fastpitch realm, Pluschke has coached Elite Diamonds travel team first-year 12s through second-year 16s for the last six years, notching just under 300 wins along the way.

“Even better than the wins, in the rogue world of travel sports we managed to keep the nucleus intact with the same girls for six years,” he said of his Redmond Elite Diamonds squads.

Pluschke inherits seven starters from last year’s Mustang squad: senior Jennifer Cummings at catcher, senior Audrey Walker at third base, senior Kaia Bradford in right field, senior Camille Eaton at shortstop/second base, junior Peri Hocevar in the infield/outfield, sophomore Grace Haegele at pitcher/first base and sophomore Ella Claus in the outfield. Haegele and sophomore Elliotte Wood will mostly likely handle pitching duties.

College signees are Cummings at the University of Washington, Walker at North Idaho College and Bradford at the University of Hawaii-Hilo.

The four senior leaders are four-year starters with heaps of playoff experience and a 3A state championship in 2017.

“With the sophomores and juniors getting valuable time last season, look for the Mustangs to be as competitive as ever,” the coach said. “We will see where this leadership takes us this season. Expectations with Redmond softball are always high.”

Positivity reigns supreme with Pluschke, who aims to inspire players to be themselves while working as a team and always being competitive to reap success, and also being able to deal with adversity.

“Our standards are high but our belief in ourselves is higher,” he said.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

file photo
Health department: COVID outbreaks linked to high school wrestling tournaments

At least 80 cases are tied to the events which included attendees from multiple counties and states.

Redmond High’s girls swim team took third place at the 4A state meet on Nov. 13 at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way. Photo courtesy of Adam Lu
Redmond swimmers shine at state meet

Redmond High’s girls swimmers notched five first-place titles and finished third in… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

Redmond coach, grapplers join Ascend Wrestling Academy

Redmond High wrestling coach Lantz Schwabenbauer and several local grapplers are part… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.

Redmond football squad is ready to ‘Pound the Rock’
Redmond football squad is ready to ‘Pound the Rock’

Mustangs open season against Squalicum.