Clark County softball player competing professionally in Perth, Australia


Since October in the land down under, Maleya Burns has enjoyed the great people of Australia, experienced culture shock and has loved the nature that Australia has to offer while playing softball.

Burns has taken her passion for softball from Clark County to Australia.

After graduating from San Angelo State University in Texas in 2023, Burns was drafted by the Thornlie Hawks minor league team in Perth, Australia, in October. The 2018 Union High School graduate from Hockinson is even eyeing Europe’s summer league, she said.

“I’ve met so many great individuals, and I’m with an amazing host family that I’m going to keep in touch with for the rest of my life,” Burns said. “Honestly, it’s been life changing. I’ve been able to coach some younger teens, and that’s been a great experience, as well, because it’s my first time coaching teenagers.”

Everything has been a little different for Burns, from driving, to food names, to a different vocabulary.

“I had to learn how to drive on the other side of the road, and I still catch myself wondering if I’m on the right side of the road sometimes,” Burns said. “We have an insane amount of food in America, and so going to a grocery store and not finding certain things is kind of wild. And, in the most polite way possible, they cuss a lot more than we do, which is fine, but like when you hear a 10-year-old say, like, 10 different cuss words at once, it just is so shocking.”

During her time in Australia, Burns has traveled around the western coast, where she has seen kangaroos in the wild, as well as many different types of fish. Burns has also experienced “intense birds.”

“There was like one screeching out my window a couple of weeks ago, and it freaked me out because it was like 3 a.m.,” Burns said of the bird. “But I haven’t encountered any crazy bugs yet, and I thank God because I am not a bug person.”

Playing the sport she loves in Australia, Burns has been successful at the plate. During the recent Australian Nationals Tournament, Burns averaged a .464 batting average hit for the cycle in day two for the Western Flames.

Burns also helped her Thornlie Hawks squad win a state finals tournament in December 2023.