Gene's Page interviewed East Central (Hurley, MS) High School middle infielder Hayle Guess June 24th. Hayle, a two-time All-State selection, is one of the top fastpitch softball players in Mississippi."> Gene's Page interviewed East Central (Hurley, MS) High School middle infielder Hayle Guess June 24th. Hayle, a two-time All-State selection, is one of the top fastpitch softball players in Mississippi.">

East Central (Hurley, MS) HS SS/2B Hayle Guess

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/highschool/softball/2002/haleyguess.jpg" align="left" width="126" height="161"> Gene's Page interviewed East Central (Hurley, MS) High School middle infielder Hayle Guess June 24th. Hayle, a two-time All-State selection, is one of the top fastpitch softball players in Mississippi.

Hayle is a player Mississippi State softball is showing a lot of interest in. I caught up with Haley at her home Monday night (June 24th).

Hayle, what position do you play?
"I am mainly a middle infielder. I play some outfield."

What is your primary position?
"I play second in high school but in the summer I alternate. I guess you could say shortstop since that is what I am being recruited as."

What do you feel are your strong points on the field? In other words what you do best on the field?
"I am aggressive, very aggressive. I have good speed. That is one of my really good points."

What about your hitting and fielding ability?
"I think I am a better fielder than a hitter right now. I came from slowpitch. I have always played slowpitch."

When did you start playing fastpitch softball?
"Last summer was my first summer to go fastpitch (seriously). I have played fastpitch since I was 11 or 12, but not seriously. I played some introductory league when I was 11. Then I started playing for the Coastliners from Pascagoula when I was 12 or 13."

What honors have you earned during your high school career?
"I've gotten All-District for three years and All-State for two years. High school-wise, I have gotten the defensive award every year and the scholastic award one year."

What colleges are recruiting you?
"The big one is Mississippi State. And I've gotten letters from a university out of Maryland called Towson University and Drexel University out of Pennsylvania."

What schools are you most interested in at this time?
"My number one choice is Mississippi State, then there are the others powers such as LSU that you would also love to play for. But my number one priority is Mississippi State."

What do you like about Mississippi State?
"I like the school and the campus. I went to their camps last year and this year and I met a lot of the (MSU softball) girls. The coaches are very good teachers. I just like being up there. I would fit in there really well. I feel very comfortable there. And it is not that far away from home. I don't really want to go that far away from home."

Have you enjoyed the recruiting process, so far?
"Oh yeah, it is very exciting."

Are you on a summer team?
"Yes sir. I play with a team out of Mobile called the Thrillers. We travel every weekend. We usually try to find the biggest recruiting tournaments."

Is this the first time you have played on a team like that?
"No sir, I have always played on a travel team. I started it when I was 9 and playing slowpitch. Last summer, I went completely fastpitch. We didn't travel as much because I played for my dad on what was a first year fastpitch team. We didn't travel to the really big tournaments but we got out there. This is my first year with the Thrillers."

When did the Thrillers start playing this summer?
"As soon as school got out, we started the first weekend."

When do they play games?
"It is like normal tournaments. For South Carolina, we left last Wednesday and got back Sunday. This is our first weekend off. We go to Pensacola the next weekend. We'll play in Mobile the next weekend, then we have one week off. After that, we go to Texas. We leave on a Sunday and get back on a Sunday. I think it is like a 200 team (tournament)."

It sounds like the Texas tournament is a huge tournament. Is this the first time you have played in a tournament that big?
"After I got through with my dad's team, I played in a national tournament with a team from Brandon called Southern Style. We played at Panama City, Florida, then, after I got back from that tournament, I went to the Texas tournament with the same Thrillers team I'm playing with this year. I enjoyed it."

Getting back to the places that you have traveled to, where did you go prior to the South Carolina tournament?
"We had just gotten back from Birmingham."

Was that the first place you had gone to?
"No sir, we went to Germantown, Tennessee before that weekend."

Do your parents travel with you to these tournaments?
"My dad goes with me every weekend. My mom goes when she doesn't have to work."

Hayle, that just about does it. I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me.
"It was nice talking to you. Bye bye."


Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi high school sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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