On paper, Rachel Box choosing Arkansas seems like a simple one.
Box is a White Hall native that was a key component of the Lady Bulldogs’ first-ever state softball championship team this past season, which was won in Fayetteville. So naturally she would want to stay in state and play for the Razorbacks.
But Rachel was also recruited by Ole Miss, which is where her uncle is a baseball coach.
Once Rachel stepped foot on the campus in Fayetteville, her mind was made up with where she was going to continue her career.
“When I visited, I knew this was the right fit and where I wanted to be,” Box said. “The program was a better fit and I just love the coaching staff and the team and they are very family based and they work together.”
Her family also agreed that Arkansas was the right decision. Her mom Scarlette was in the White Hall library snapping as many photos as she could as Rachel was surrounded by her family, teammates, coaches and friends as she officially signed with Arkansas on Thursday.
“It’s just really like a dream come true and this is what I have dreamed about since I was a little kid,” she said. “Playing softball at the next level and getting to play for the staff and the team at Arkansas. … I get to represent my state and it’s just an honor.”
This past season, Box batted .459 with 10 home runs, 43 RBIs and 33 runs scored while slugging .941.
The first day of the fall signing period was on Wednesday, but Box waited a day because her high school jersey number is 15, the same day of the month that she signed.
Box made a verbal commitment to Arkansas about a month ago and over that time, she thought of many people she can thank for helping her achieve one of her dreams.
“I just want to thank my mom and everyone in my family and everyone who has helped get me where I am,” she said. “All of my coaches, people like Justin McCarty and Haley Baugh who have spent countless hours on the field with me. My grandparents and all of their support and to Arkansas for giving me the opportunity.”
Box will be wearing red with Arkansas, but she will not redshirt. She will jump in right away as a corner outfielder and a corner infielder.
“I am really excited and I am ready to get there and get on with it,” she said.
She is also excited for her final high school season, too. There is a solid group returning from White Hall’s championship team, and Box wants another title.
“I want to repeat and nothing less,” she said.