Casey Brooks is having the ride of her life.
The 17-year-old, a senior at Thomson High School, is the shortstop for the Lady Bulldogs' fast-pitch softball team.
Through last Friday, the Thomson team was undefeated after five games this season.
"I'm hoping we can make it into the state playoffs this season," said Brooks during an interview last Thursday. "I really want to play in the state playoffs, because I've never played in them before."
Brooks believes the Lady Bulldogs have a lot of talent and that they can achieve such a goal, provided they continue to work hard and make adjustments.
"We've just got to keep doing what it takes to get there," said Brooks, who has been the starting shortstop since her sophomore year - the same year that Jason Osborn took over the softball program at Thomson High School. "I believe we can get there, if we continue to work hard."
Brooks delivered a key hit in the seventh inning last Wednesday against the Washington-Wilkes' Lady Tigers and went on to score the winning run in a thrilling come-from-behind 4-3 victory. It marked the second time this season that the Lady Bulldogs have beaten the Lady Tigers. The first game ended in a 2-0 win, which came in the championship game of the Thomson High School Invitational.
"I hope we keep winning, because it's my last year and I want to make some lasting memories," said Brooks, an A student and ranked third in this year's graduating class at Thomson High School.
She admits that Coach Osborn puts a lot of pressure on his players.
"He puts a lot of pressure on all of us, because he knows we can come through," explained Brooks.
She believes the Lady Bulldogs can realistically go as far as they want to this season, provided the team is willing to do what it will take to get there.
"I think if we stay confident and focused, we can really go a long way," said Brooks.
After graduation, Brooks plans to attend the University of Georgia in Athens and study to become an orthopedic surgeon.
For now, she's as happy as can be playing softball and helping her team be as good as they can be.