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GRHS softball standout signs with Ole Miss

Addison Duke has dreamt of taking her softball talents to theAddison Duke signing to University of Mississippi. Magnolia State for the past half decade. On November 8, as part of a National Signing Day event at Gila Ridge High School, Duke’s dreams became a reality. 

Duke, a senior center fielder and shortstop at GRHS, signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Mississippi in the fall of 2024. 

“I’m really excited to continue my softball career at Ole Miss,” Duke said. “I’ve always wanted to play there. It’s been my dream school since I was like 12 and just to see that whole thing come true is really exciting. It’s going to be interesting going somewhere completely different from Arizona and just seeing a whole bunch of new things.”

In 59 games as a member of the Hawks varsity team, Duke has recorded a career batting average of .555 with 37 extra-base hits, 60 stolen bases, and just 10 career strikeouts. Her senior season for the Hawks will begin in February before leaving for Oxford, Mississippi after she graduates. 

“She is a leader all the way around, on and off the field,” GRHS softball coach Courtney Reed said. “She is a silent leader, she leads by example. The way she impacts the team is bar none, just by simply being around and being a leader. She's got great grades. She does stuff in the community. She does [agriculture]. She does softball. I feel like she's one of my little hens heading off and it's kind of an emotional moment for me as a little momma bear. But I am so proud. I wish patience, success, and strength in the road ahead for her because it’s going to be hard, and she knows how hard it's gonna be but she’s got it all.”

Ole Miss is coming off a 32-28 season in 2023 and has advanced to at least the regional round of the NCAA championship tournament every year since 2016 (note: there was no tournament in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Eric Patten