Press Release from Mississippi State Athletics
A three-time All-State selection from the state of Arkansas will join Mississippi State softball next season as Vann Stuedeman announced the signing of standout pitcher/outfielder Kenley Hawk.
“Kenley is a strong, athletic young lady,” Stuedeman said. “She has been clocked in the mid-60s, has late break and control of both sides of the plate. She has a huge upside in the circle. In addition, she poses a physical threat at the plate. She has the strength and barrel control to hit for power to all parts of the field. Kenley has a bright future as a Bulldog.”
Heading into her senior season as a team captain at Palestine-Wheatley High School, the Palestine, Arkansas, native signs with State after an impressive 2018 season where she was ranked fifth in the nation by MaxPreps with eight no-hitters to her credit.
“I chose Mississippi State because Starkville is a lot like my hometown,” Hawk said. “No matter where you go in Starkville, you are never considered a stranger. People there are always very friendly. I’m also very excited to have been offered an opportunity to play at an elite level with some of the best players and top coaches in the country!”
Hawk is coming off a stellar junior season as she led the Patriots to a 26-5 overall record with an unblemished 16-0 mark in conference play to make an appearance in the quarterfinals of the 2018 3A State Tournament. She held a 0.38 earned run average behind her eight no-hitters, which also included one perfect game, and allowed just seven earned runs over the season. Hawk tossed 12 shutouts as a junior and struck out 292 of the 489 batters faced.
Just as impressive at the plate, Hawk held a .543 batting average with 44 hits, 53 runs scored and 43 RBI. Twenty-five of her 44 hits went for extra-bases as she slugged 10 doubles, five triples and 10 home runs to hold a 1.160 slugging percentage. She also swiped 19 bases last season.
Her efforts earned Hawk an All-American Selection-Small Schools division. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette also named her an All-Arkansas Prep and Max Prep Arkansas Democrat Gazette Second Team. She also racked up All-Conference and All-State honors.
Over her sophomore season, Hawk posted a 2.50 ERA behind one no-hitter and a perfect game. She struck out 232 batters en route to a 17-5 overall record and an 8-4 mark in conference play. At the plate, Hawk posted a .462 average with help of 42 hits. She added 41 RBI and 16 runs scored. She recorded an .857 slugging percentage after knocking 12 doubles, three triples and six home runs.
The Jonesboro Sun named Hawk to its second team as she also picked up All-Conference and All-State honors. Butler Electric Services honored her as its top hitter. Max Preps Arkansas Democrat Gazette rounded out her sophomore season honors with a second team selection.
As a freshman, Hawk and the Patriots closed the season with a 10-11 record and an 6-8 mark in conference play. She posted a 3.10 earned run average behind one no-hitter with 154 strikeouts. She held a .433 average at the plate with 26 hits, 20 RBI and 23 runs scored. She also slugged 10 doubles, three triples and two home runs.
She was named to the 2016 Jonesboro Sun Second Team and picked up All-Conference and All-State selections.
Hawk currently plays travel ball with the Lady Lightning under head coach Eileen Hannigan.
A two-sport athlete, Hawk has earned two letters and serves as a team captain for the Patriots’ volleyball program.
Academically, Hawk has been a member of the Palestine-Wheatley Honor Roll the last three years. She has also volunteers her time as a coach from elementary-aged students and has taught hitting and pitching lessons to local kids.
Hawk is the daughter of Perre and Heather Hawk. She has one younger sister, Karley.