Ole Miss softball continued building for the future with the addition of standout Mississippi player Hailey Lunderman, Sicangu Lakota /Choctaw, Mississippi, head coach Mike Smith announced on Tuesday. Lunderman is the ninth announced member of the recruiting class for the 2015-16 academic year.
“Hailey is a pure athlete and will be fun to watch when she joins our program,” Smith said in a news release. “People will be excited about the talent level of an athlete like Hailey that we were able to bring to Ole Miss. She’s a quiet leader, but she’s confident, and that will allow her to be successful. Her leadership will show through her actions and what she does on a daily basis. She’s a five-tool player that any program wants playing for them.”
Lunderman comes to the Rebels from Neshoba Central High School where she has been a four-year starter for head coach Trae Embry. In her career, Lunderman has posted a .567 batting average with 201 runs scored, 80 stolen bases and posted a .621 on base percentage.
The Mississippi native is a three-time All-Division selection in softball (2011, 2013, 2014) and was named the Class 5A Mississippi Player of the Year in the 2013 season along with Miss Softball by the Clarion Ledger in the 2013 season. Lunderman is also a two-time All-State selection as she has helped lead Neshoba Central to back-to-back fastpitch state championships (2013, 2014). "It was a great honor and I'm very excited about it," Lunderman told NeshobaDemocrat.com after winning the Miss Softball title in 2013. "We worked hard to win the state championship and took it one game at a time."
"Defensively, she is one of the best shortstops I have ever seen," Neshoba coach, Trae Embry, told The Clairon Ledger.
She was selected to play in the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Game for the 2013 season and was nominated for the Mississippi Pop Star award in fastpitch for the 2014 season by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. With Velocity Gulf Coast, Lunderman was named the Best Defensive Player at the 12U Triple Crown Tournament at Oklahoma City in 2010. She has also competed in the PGF Nationals, the ASA Nationals, the Colorado Louisville Slugger Showcase and the Team New Jersey Summer Classic.
In addition to softball, Lunderman also has played three years of varsity basketball, earning the Most Versatile Player award in 2013 and 2014, while also being named an All-District selection both years. She is also an Advanced Placement student and has been on the honor roll for the duration of her high school career.
"Hailey is a great person and a hard worker," Embry told NeshobaDemocrat.com. "She works hard each day to improve her game. She also works hard in the class room and is an outstanding student. She is a great player who is a joy to coach and be around."