Hooper's Millie Seithalil signs with MMI

Hooper Academy senior Millie Seithalil talks to her teammates at her signing ceremony before signing the paperwork to attend Marion Military Institute to play softball. 

HOPE HULL -- Millie Seithalil was already planning a career in the Air Force when a new opportunity arose.

“I was planning on enlisting in the military straight out of high school,” she said. “One of my buddies said, ‘Hey, I texted Coach (Jeff) Benson, he wants to see you.’ That happened and just like that.”

Just like that, the six-year starter at Hooper Academy had an offer to play softball on a scholarship offer from Marion Military Institute. And just like that, Seithalil accepted the offer and now will receive some training from the military school, which can help advance her career.

“It can show me if military is the route I want to go,” she said, “or if it’s not and I’ll do something else.”

Seithalil was honored on Wednesday with a signing ceremony at the school, which was attended by her teammates who are participating in the state softball tournament this weekend, her current coach and her future coach, Benson.

“It creates a good pathway for these other girls,” Hooper Academy coach Elyse McIntyre said, “making sure that they can get to that next level if they want. They just have to work hard. Millie’s one of the hardest workers I’ve been around in 12 years of coaching. On the field, off the field, she’s a great leader and a hard worker.”

Seithalil has played second base, third base, shortstop and has even pitched at times over her career, but is most comfortable in center field. She said she is happy for the opportunity to continue her career at any position, but went through tryouts at center field.

“I’m sure he’ll coach me through everything,” Seithalil said, “but I go to the gym every day and work on my speed and my strength so I can keep up with the bigger league.”

McIntyre said Seithalil could contribute at a variety of positions, but noted she’s always preferred the outfield.

“She can play just about anything,” she said. “She can even pitch if I need her to, but I don’t need her there yet. I needed her in the outfield so she’s been that good leader in the outfield.”