Tulsa softball commit Makenzie Freeman named Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year

HACKETT – After leading the Hackett Lady Hornets to their first softball state championship in program history, junior pitcher Makenzie Freeman was selected as the 2024 Gatorade Player of the Year.

Freeman, a 2025 University of Tulsa commit, struck out 263 batters in 176 innings and compiled a 0.48 ERA for the 28-3 Lady Hornets. She was equally as lethal at the plate, batting .536 with 55 RBI and was a unanimous all-state selection, plus earned MVP honors in this year’s 3A state tournament. Additionally, Freeman was named to the Natural State Sports All-Star’s first team along with her sister, Michaelyn.

Freeman has been a key contributor for Hackett since her freshman year and helped the squad to consecutive 3A semifinal runs in 2022 and 2023. The Lady Hornets will be the heavy favorite to win another title in 2025 as they make the move down to Class 2A.

“We had been so close a couple of times and we just wanted it this whole year,” Freeman told Natural State Sports following the 3A state final in May. “It was our goal to win state so bad so I am glad it happened and it was a full team effort.”

Off the field, Freeman volunteers her time at local churches, as well as animal shelters and sports camps. She also maintains a 4.0 GPA.

(Cover photo by Jhude Dizon/Arkansas PBS)