Hannah Gammill Is Ready to Pay it Forward for the Sake of Arkansas Softball

“I told myself I wanted to play for Arkansas.”

Hannah Gammill, Arkansas softball
photo credit: Arkansas Athletics

Even from a young age in Beebe, Hannah Gammill knew she wanted to represent her home state of Arkansas in a Razorback jersey.

“I actually never thought that it would come true,” Gammill told Best of Arkansas Sports. “It was just, you know, one of those dreams that as a child you’re like, ‘I wanna do this!’ But you never actually think it’s gonna happen.”

Many recognize Arkansas softball’s third baseman as the biggest cheerleader in the park, picking up teammates and boosting morale through the stands in the same way her home runs sail over the fence. 

“I’m really a loud human,” Gammill said calmly while sitting in the fieldhouse at Bogle Park.. “I enjoy to pick people up, slam them down, I like being super physical with people. I think that’s what I really wanna make sure I continue to do, is just make others around me feel happy and excited.”

Early Days of Hannah Gammill

The senior’s strong enthusiasm for the game goes back nearly 18 years to when Hannah Gammill was just 4 years old. Her introduction to the sport was unconventional to say the least. 

“My mom originally signed me up for softball, but it ended up actually being baseball,” Gammill said. “So I played baseball with the boys for like two years… It was actually really fun. I couldn’t tell a difference. I think at that age, it was just me playing with my friends, so I didn’t really think a whole lot about it, but it was fun.”

Gammill added both of her parents, who raised her as Razorback fan, supported her softball career in different ways. Her dad spent time hitting and catching with her out in the yard, while her mom provided emotional support and advice. Even today, Gammill deeply appreciates her family attending every home game and traveling to many away games. 

All the same, her parents have always stressed to her that “softball is not who you are.”

“You are grounded in your faith and you’re grounded in what the Lord says about who you are,” Gammill said. “So, I think that’s really something that I was taught at a young age. And just to enjoy where I am, because one day softball is gonna be gone.”

Becoming a Leader

Knowing that, in the last year especially, Hannah Gammill has made a point to invest in relationships that will live on far beyond her last crack of the bat.

“I am a senior and I had seniors do that for me when I was a freshman and sophomore,” Gammill said. “They were consistent, they were there, they really helped develop my mental and physical side of things.”

Over the course of Gammill’s time at Arkansas, she has bounced back and forth between catcher and third base, but she says the latter position “feels like home.”

Within the SEC, adjusting the gameplan can keep a team afloat, and Gammill shares her experience with the younger teammates.  

“I think that that’s really important, to do that for the same people who are freshmen,” Gammill said. “I can understand how scary that is, so I think just being there for them and encouraging them through one of the hardest times in their life.”

Gammill herself benefited from seniors reaching out to her when she was a freshman, so she wants to pay it forward on this year’s team. That’s why Gammill said she and freshman catcher Kennedy Miller have developed a bond of their own. 

“I enjoy just like supporting her and loving on her,” Gammill said. “You know, I think that she’s very, very good. Physically, but also she just has this really veteran-like style of just handling her emotions a lot better than I did.”

Gammill Looks to Bounce Back

Hannah Gammill used her freshman year lessons to build up her strengths, helping her earn All-American honors as a sophomore in 2021. She broke out to the tune of a .374 batting average, team-high .781 and 18 home runs. As the full-time starter at third, Gammill also landed on the SEC All-Defensive Team.

However, this past season, the Arkansan’s average took a nosedive, dropping to a career-low .236. She also hit only six home runs despite starting every game.

“Last year was for sure not the year that I wanted or desired,” Gammill said. “I didn’t have the year that I wanted and I worked my butt off this summer, and I’ve been working with Coach (DJ) Gasso a lot. And I have actually, I think, never felt more confident than how I do now and myself and my abilities. I’m ready.”

Those abilities, as Gammill sees it, come from her faith in God.

“I am secure in that relationship and I know that,” Gammill said. “I think that I’ve really come to terms that softball will be over and people are not gonna remember me for being an All-American, or striking out 500 times. Whatever the stats are, people won’t remember me for that.”

All the same, a new Arkansas softball season means a new slate of stats. And with that, a fresh nationally ranked No. 2 transfer class is changing the face of Razorback softball and giving the fans even more of a reason to take a trip out to Bogle Park. 

Morgan Leinstock from Southern Miss and Reis Beuerlein from Mississippi State join the team as right-handed pitchers and both are originally from Arizona.  Meanwhile,  Bri Ellis of Auburn and Nia Carter from Iowa join the team as an infielder and outfielder, respectively. 

“The transfer class that we got in this year is really just so solid,” Gammill said. “They’re very mature… Reis and Morgan are on the pitching side of things, but they bring a lot to the table that we were missing, that we really needed. And Nia’s really fast. Puts bunts down, puts hits down, she’s just the full toolbox. And Bri just yaks balls. So, they’re gonna be a great addition to this team.”

Life After Arkansas Softball

Outside of her cleats, Hannah Gammill is working toward a bachelor’s degree in social work. After graduation in May, she plans to continue her studies towards a master’s degree. This past summer, Gammill interned at the Peace at Home domestic violence shelter. 

“That was just very eye opening,” Gammill said. “Going to that shelter was very heavy of course, but it was one of the best experiences and I’m really glad that I picked there because there are a lot of women that experience domestic violence, so you have to have at least some knowledge so that you’re able to help them out.”

Gammill said a new softball goal of hers is to reach the Olympic level. After she hangs up her bat, she wants to work in a hospital as a counselor and eventually open up her own practice. When it comes to what she’ll leave behind as a Razorback, Gammill said she wants to be remembered for how she treated people.

“I would say my legacy would be that I loved my teammates and my coaching staff and people that I was around really well,” Gammill said.

(READ NEXT: Katie Parker caught up with Romani Thurman, the daughter of Arkansas basketball legend Scotty Thurman, to discuss her decision to transfer back home and follow in her father’s footsteps)

How to Watch Arkansas Softball 

The Arkansas softball season begins this week in Boca Raton, Fla. The Razorbacks will compete in the Paradise Classic with five games set through the weekend. The full schedule, as well as results, can be found below.

Dates: Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 8-10

Location: Joan Joyce Field (Boca Raton, Fla.)

TV/Stream: FloSoftball / FAU Live Stream

Arkansas Softball Schedule at Paradise Classic

Thursday, Feb. 8

Arkansas 10, Marshall 3

The Razorbacks were tested in their opener, as it was tied 3-3 entering the bottom of the fifth. That’s when they took the lead for good, with Rylin Hedgecock providing the go-ahead RBI single. That was the start of a three-run inning for Arkansas, which then added another four runs in the sixth. Bri Ellis and Cylie Halvorson each went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, while Hannah Camenzind tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.

Arkansas 8, FAU 0

Friday, Feb. 9

Arkansas vs Ohio – 10:30 a.m. CT

Saturday, Feb. 10

Arkansas vs Penn State – 8 a.m. CT

Arkansas vs Michigan State – 10:15 a.m. CT


Check out a recent interview with Gammill here:

YouTube video


More coverage of Arkansas sports from BoAS… 

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