June 20, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss softball co-head coaches Jon Malgradi and Kirsten Voak announced the addition of four more signees to their 2013-14 squad on Thursday with the addition of Bragan Burns (Gardendale, Ala.), Mikayla Davis (Orange Park, Fla.), Rachel Hickman (Poplarville, Miss.) and Rachel Johnson (Southaven, Miss.).
Hickman, who was named the Mississippi Gatorade Softball Player of the Year earlier this month, posted a 27-4 record with a 0.58 ERA and 325 strikeouts against only 35 walks in 194 innings-pitched this past season, leading Poplarville HS to the Class 4A state semifinals. Also a second baseman, Hickman batted .441 with a home run and 32 RBI. The two-time First Team All-State selection as named by The Clarion-Ledger produced a .490 on base percentage and a .667 slugging percentage. As a junior in 2012, she owned a 19-4 record with a 0.30 ERA and 203 strikeouts in 139.1 innings-pitched, chipping in a .441 batting average with 26 RBI.
Burns and Johnson join the Golden Eagles after standout careers for coach Jack Kinney of the Germantown Red Devils travel squad, who finished second at the ASA National Softball tournament in 2012.
Burns, who prepped at Gardendale High School, was named to the 2012 North Jefferson All-Star team and was a member of the 2004 and 2009 NSA Travel State Championship Teams and 2006 and 2008 ASA Travel Championship teams.
Johnson played her prep ball at Lewisburg High School and was named to the Commercial Appeal's Division 1 All-Metro Team after hitting .475 for the Patriots with 15 RBI this season. In her junior year, Johnson batted .364 with 32 hits.
Davis comes to Southern Miss from Oakleaf High and the Florida Select travel ball squad, playing for coaches Christina Thompson and Traci Conrad-Fischer along the way. Davis batted .517 this past season for the Knights with a .514 on-base percentage as a multi-tool infielder/outfielder. In 2011, she helped lead her squad to runner-up status in Clay County's district tournament and was named to the All-State 3A Third Team in 2010 while she played for The Bolles School.
"We're very excited about the potential of all four (of these signees)," said Voak. "They have all been successful at the highest level and we know they will mesh well with the rest of this very talented signing class. As a staff, we cannot wait to get them on campus to get started."
The four signees join five other signees previously announced and will join the Golden Eagles in the fall for the 2013-14 campaign including: Dani Block (Phoenix, Ariz.), Selena Estrada (Panama City, Fla.), Arielle Pollock (Windermere, Fla.), Hannah Moore (Carthage, Miss.) and Sami Robles (Texas City, Texas).