High School Sports

This Ocean Springs athlete is just 15, but she’s already committed to her ‘dream school’

Ocean Springs freshman Haley Fox verbally committed to play softball at Florida State last week.
Ocean Springs freshman Haley Fox verbally committed to play softball at Florida State last week.

Haley Fox’s high school softball career has barely begun, but she’s already got her college destination figured out.

The Ocean Springs freshman outfielder verbally committed to Florida State on a trip to Tallahassee last week.

“It came down to Virginia and Florida State and she made the pick that was right for her,” Ocean Springs coach Lindsay O’Brien said.

Haley’s older sister, Mikaila, also made an early call on her college choice. The Ocean Springs junior shortstop switched her verbal commitment from McNeese State to Virginia in late 2016 prior to her sophomore season.

Haley said the fact that her sister plans to attend Virginia didn’t play much of a role in her decision.

“I didn’t pay attention to if my sister was going there. It didn’t matter,” she said. “It was more of whether it was the best fit for me. Is this where I want to go to school for four years? I’m going to be there.”

The 15-year-old received her first offer from Virginia on Dec. 8 and FSU followed through with an offer on Jan. 28, making the decision a difficult one.

“It was an extremely stressful decision,” Haley said.

Her family’s allegiance to FSU is eventually what helped make the decision for her.

“Florida State has been my dream school ever since I was little,” Haley said. “We’re all Florida State fans. At the end of day, I just wanted to follow my dream.”

She also received interest from Central Florida, South Florida, South Alabama, Florida International and Florida Atlantic.

While Mikaila is a standout at the plate and in the field, Haley is known for her speed, defense in the outfield and ability to slap the ball with power from the left side of the plate.

“She’s very good defensively, very mature for her age,” O’Brien said.

While Haley’s speed is her best attribute, she’s also got some pop in her bat.

“My approach at the plate depends on the defense,” Haley said. “If I get up there and they’re choking me, I’m going to hit a bomb and hit it over their heads.”

Haley played with the Ocean Springs varsity squad late last year, once her middle school season was finished, starting at second base and hitting second in the lineup.

Mikaila hit .450 with three homers and 23 RBIs last season for an Ocean Springs squad that finished the campaign with a mark of 23-4.

Mikaila and Haley aren’t the only Lady Greyhounds who have verbally committed to Division I programs. Sophomore pitcher Kylie Taylor switched her verbal commitment from Missouri to Mississippi State in August of last year. She won 17 games last season and finished with an ERA of 1.14.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee