South Mississippi's top baseball and softball teams are riding impressive winning streaks into the postseason.
No. 1 George County (13-6) swept D'Iberville last week to clinch the Region 7-6A baseball title. Likewise, No. 1 St. Patrick Lady Fighting Irish have pushed their streak to 22-0 with a non-region game against Oak Grove remaining between them and the playoffs.
The Rebels opened their first season back in Class 6A just 1-2 against Biloxi, Hancock and Gulfport. GCHS turned it on after that, beating Harrison Central before sweeping Ocean Springs, St. Martin and D'Iberville.
Earning the bye in Round 1, the Rebels have opted to play at No. 3 West Harrison (20-4) on Thursday and then travel to Hattiesburg on Monday to keep the team engaged.
"I feel like defensively and on the mound we're playing at our best, especially late in the game," GCHS coach Brandon Davis said. "Offensively I still think we have room to improve. It comes down to getting guys more at-bats.
"That's why we're getting those games, to get in the batter's box and compete. That should be two good tests."
While the Rebels have racked up the wins, they've had to work hard after battling through 14 one-run games.
"I've been in baseball a really long time and I've never seen that many one-run games," said Davis, whose team now has 10 wins in those close games. "It makes it exciting. You can't say we play boring games."
No. 2 Ocean Springs (18-7), No. 4 Gulfport (13-8), No. 5 D'Iberville (11-9), No. 8 East Central (11-8) and No. 9 Vancleave (14-10) all remained the same this week. No. 6 Harrison Central (12-8) moved up a spot, flipping with No. 7 St. Patrick (12-4). No. 10 Pearl River Central (16-7) joined the rankings this week.
After struggling with inconsistencies throughout much of the season, defending Class 5A South State champion West Harrison is starting to find its groove.
The No. 6 Lady Hurricanes (13-10) are on a four-game winning streak of their own.
"I'm hoping we've turned it around," coach Brittany Rogers said. "Friday against Long Beach we went in ready to play and it showed."
Rogers said her team has always prided itself on out-working opponents. Earlier in the year, Rogers said she wasn't seeing the same work put in by the players. With the playoffs around the corner, Rogers said her team has really made strides.
Having clinched Region 8-5A, WHHS will push itself before the playoffs begin with road match-ups against No. 4 St. Martin (11-7), No. 3 East Central (15-5-1) and No. 2 Harrison Central (14-3).
"We're going to use this week to get ready for the playoffs next week," Rogers said. "I think they're ready. I hope they're ready.
"I hope they plan to go get after it."
Rounding out this week's softball rankings are No. 5 Poplarville (12-3), No. 7 Biloxi (11-6-1), No. 8 Pearl River Central (14-6), No. 9 Picayune (12-10-1) and No. 10 Ocean Springs (10-8-1).