OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Winning their last six games by a combined score of 65-2, the Ocean Springs (12-7) softball team seems to be hitting their stride at the perfect time.
"Any coach, your ending result is you want to go to state," Greyhounds head coach Lindsay O'Brien said. "I think with the talent that we have, anything less than that, of course, is going to be a complete disappointment. But, we're just trying to focus on really playing one pitch at a time and not get ahead of ourselves."
That talent O'Brien mentioned is, arguably, one one of the strongest groupings the Coast has seen in quite some time. The Greyhounds feature three players already committed to NCAA Division I programs, all doing so before reaching their senior seasons.
When asked if she ever coached a group with this kind of potential, O'Brien had a simple answer.
"No," she said with a laugh. "I can probably tell you most high school coaches would say no."
"You're seeing future competition that you're gonna see (in college), and you get to play with them (in high school)," Ocean Springs freshman and Florida State commit Haley Fox said. "You're gonna be on TV and say, hey, I played with that girl! It's gonna be really exciting."
Fox and her older sister, junior infielder Mikaila Fox, share a special bond. They're high school teammates, and both planning to play collegiately in the ACC.
But with Mikaila committed to Virginia, and Haley heading to Tallahassee, a little sibling rivalry is already brewing.
"It's fun, it's super amazing," the elder Fox said about playing with her little sister. "It's gonna be even better whenever we play against each other."
"We're gonna whip her tail, let's just say that," she said with a laugh.
The Fox sisters are joined in the dugout by Mississippi State commit Kylie Taylor, a sophomore pitcher who is already taking everything in stride.
"There is a lot of pressure because stuff is expected from you," Taylor said. "But you gotta learn we are still young, we're still learning, we're still getting to know the game, so we can't just let that decide how we play."
These three future collegiate athletes may get some extra attention on opposing scouting reports, but they say that doesn't matter. What does matter is that every Greyhound teammate is just as important as the next.
"We are DI commits, but it is a team sport," Taylor said. "We don't want to make it about us."
"We're one team, we're Ocean Springs softball, and we're here to play together," Mikaila Fox said. "The title of D1 doesn't really matter."
"I think the big thing we try to teach is just be classy young ladies, remember that it's just a game, but remember why you play the game and that love for the game," O'Brien said. "I think that these three right here, they do (that) 100 percent."