JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
BURNET — Burnet High School senior softball player Ashley Hallmark had two things she had to overcome en route to signing her letter of intent to play for Angelina College Jan. 19 – her speed and her inexperience.
Hallmark didn’t pick up a bat until she was 10. And knowing she had to get faster, which is a key component for softball players, she worked hard to develop her speed.
By January 2016, she had eight scholarship offers and had some encouraging words for those who have a goal others may believe is unobtainable.
“Lots of determination and just wanting to love the sport and be the best you can,” she said. “Don’t worry about anything, and don’t let anyone put you down.”
A center fielder, Hallmark has a .350 batting average in two years on the varsity team with an on-base percentage of .424. She is a two-time second team All-District 25-4A selection.
Head coach Corey Bledsoe has coached Hallmark the last three years and saw firsthand her desire to excel.
“I think Ashley committed to her summer team, select team and high school team,” he said. “That speaks volumes. She had a goal to get reached. She turned into a hitter and hard worker. She knew her goal: to be the best she could be.”
Hallmark said she chose Angelina College, located in the East Texas town of Lufkin, because of the coaches and the environment.
“It’s very homey and welcoming,” she said.
The daughter of Amyjo Hallmark will major in athletic training. She’s been a trainer for the Burnet athletic department since she was a freshman.
Angelina College won the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I national championship in 2014.
Two other players signed to play for the school for the 2017 season: Reygan White of Barbers Hill and Taylor Langgenhager of Austin Bowie.