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Effingham County High softball standouts Mills, Coleman, Eubanks hold signing party
Effingham County softball players Caleigh Eubanks, Rylee Mills and Morgan Coleman announced their college signing during a ceremony at the school last Friday. Mills and Coleman will attend the College of Coastal Georgia while Eubanks is headed to South Carolina Beaufort. - photo by Photo submitted

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald

SPRINGFIELD – One softball practice stood out this season for Effingham County standouts Rylee Mills, Morgan Coleman and Caleigh Eubanks.

It was Halloween and a fun practice would include running the bases backward.

Mills and Eubanks decided to take the fun to another level. They wore granny clothes and counter-circled the bases while using walkers and shaking canes.

Coleman dressed as an old-time basketball player.

“We went all out for it,” Coleman said.

Friday, the girls were ready to take softball to another level again while announcing their intentions to play in college after high school.

Mills and Coleman will head to the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick. Eubanks also won’t stray too far from home, choosing the University of South Carolina-Beaufort.

“These colleges aren’t just getting good players, they’re getting good kids,” said ECHS softball coach Brad Thompson to one of the biggest signing party gatherings at the school in recent memory.

“All three of us grew up together and we’ve played on the same travel teams one place or another. We’ve always been close,” Mills said.

The threesome comprised one third of the 2022 Rebels’ 27-win team that advanced to Columbus and won a game in the eight-team state championships.

ECHS fell just short of capturing a region championship after losing to South Effingham 1-0 in the regular-season region finale.

Mills, a first baseman/pitcher, earned the region’s most valuable player honor while hitting .461 with 15 doubles, 3 home runs and 39 runs batted in.

Mills was also 12-4 with a 1.68 earned run average as a pitcher.

Eubanks, an infielder/outfielder, hit .315 with 11 doubles, a homer and 30 RBIs. Coleman, an outfielder, hit .232.

“It’s exciting because Morgan and I can be roommates,” Mills said. “Coastal Georgia was one of the first schools I looked at. I went to a camp there and it felt like home.”

Eubanks will see some familiar faces at USCB, where former Effingham County stars Jaci Coleman and Addie Reynolds and former South Effingham star Chloe Turner are playing softball.

“I’m super excited,” Eubanks said. 

“(When selecting USCB) I took into consideration classroom size, what kind of school I wanted and what kind of environment I wanted. The coaching staff and players over there gave me a warm welcome.”

Eubanks said she will pursue a degree in early elementary school education. 

Mills wants to work toward teaching kindergarten and Coleman wants to pursue neonatal nursing.