With two years of high school remaining, Hallie Burns has already fulfilled a lifelong dream.
The Booneville pitcher made a verbal commitment to the Ole Miss softball program on Sunday. She’s been an Ole Miss fan her whole life and said becoming a Rebel is “a dream come true.”
Burns, the Daily Journal’s 2021 Softball Player of the Year, was eligible to start receiving scholarship offers on Sept. 1. Ole Miss contacted her that day, and then she went on an official visit this past weekend, which is when she received the offer.
“I made that commitment early, which is not normal. Most people wait to see what other options they have, but I knew where I wanted to go,” Burns said.
Burns is coming off a huge season in which she led the Lady Blue Devils to the Class 3A state championship. She posted a record of 24-1 with a 0.87 ERA, 337 strikeouts and 26 walks in 169 1/3 innings.
At the plate, she batted .409 with 10 doubles, three home runs and 36 RBIs.
Burns said that during her visit, she hit it off with Ole Miss pitching coach Ryker Chason.
“The pitching coach there, he’s big on spin, and if anybody knows me, that’s what I like to do,” Burns said. “Me and him were a really good match for each other.”
The only other offers Burns has are from some junior colleges. More Division I colleges will no doubt come calling, but Burns doesn’t want to go anywhere else. She’s attended camps at Ole Miss and sent them highlight videos to make sure she was on their radar.
During her campus visit, Burns spent time with another area standout who committed as a junior – West Union’s Annie Orman, now a freshman for the Rebels.
“She committed through the (previous) coach, but the new coach there she really liked, and she told me she enjoyed it,” Burns said. “She had nothing but good things to say, so that made me feel better.”