Before the first pitch was ever thrown this season, four Waxahachie softball players inked their names to the bottom of a National Letter of Intent to continue playing at the collegiate level next fall.
Talk about a home run.
Kaylie Burdine, Kameron Ryer, Caley Robles and Melina Brown signed made their college decisions official Thursday afternoon in front of friends, family, teammates and coaches inside the lecture hall on the campus of Waxahachie High School.
The four helped the Lady Indians to a 16-9-1 record in 2018 after a 13-15 mark the season before. Waxahachie was swept out of the playoffs last season by Burleson Centennial in the bi-district round.
The Lady Indians begin the season Monday with a pair of scrimmages against Mesquite Poteet and Mesquite Horn at 5 and 7 p.m. in Mesquite, respectively.
Kaylee Burdine said she chose Hill College in Hillsboro because she "fell in love" after meeting the coaching staff.
Burdine led the Lady Indians with 37 hits and a .514-batting average last season over 81 plate appearances. She also drove home a team-high 29 runs, led the Lady Indians with six home runs and matched Sharrika Levingston for the team lead in doubles (9).
Even more impressive was that Burdine struck out just four times — and two of those came Feb. 13 against Duncanville, which was the first game of the season. Burdine struck out just twice over the final 25 games.
The catcher finished the season with just three errors across 220 chances (.986-fielding percentage) behind the plate for the Lady Indians.
During her sophomore season, Burdine posted a .345 batting average with 19 hits over 55 at-bats. She also plated 14 runs, scored six times and drew five free passes. Burdine recorded a .975-fielding percentage with 139 putouts and just four errors over 157 total chances behind the dish in 2017.
NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA STATE
Kameron Ryer will head to Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma. Ryer said she loves "the school. I love the people there and they have a really good nursing program."
Ryer finished second on the team with 21 runs scored last season while posting a .371-batting average and .500 on-base percentage over her 90 plate appearances. She slugged nine doubles, one triple and three home runs, which helped her drive in 16 runs and score 21 more.
Though she primarily played left field for the Lady Indians last season, she also tossed innings inside the circle and ended the year with a 5.25 ERA.
Ryer finished her sophomore season with 10 runs scored and 5 RBIs on 13 base-on-balls and eight hits over 41 plate appearances. She also tossed 12.1 innings inside the circle, amassing a 5.68 ERA after allowing 10 earned runs on 14 hits while striking out nine. Ryer committed just three errors on her 62 chances in the field in 2017 as a sophomore.
PARIS JUNIOR COLLEGE
Kaylee Robles will be off to Paris Junior College in the fall, noting she chose the Dragons softball program because "it is a small town just like Waxahachie and it makes me feel at home."
Robles finished her junior season with four hits in 15 at-bats. She scored five runs and drew two walks.
The second baseman also posted a .841-fielding percentage in 63 chances (2 errors).
Robles saw limited action during her sophomore campaign, recording five hits over her 30 plate appearances. She did prove more than capable of making the most of her opportunities on the basepaths in 2017 as she scored 11 runs. She committed three errors with 25 putouts over her 44 opportunities in the field.
Melina Brown chose Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma because of "the coaching and the environment."
Brown had 12 hits over 50 at-bats last season. She scored 16 runs and drove in nine runs.
Fred Phipps/Daily Light contributed to this report.