She's only pitched one game in the 2010 season, and, as a junior, still has another year after this one, but Philipsburg-Osceola's Chelsea Rex already has her college choice locked up.
Rex accepted a scholarship offer and verbally committed to play softball at St. Francis University. She chose the Red Flash over Coastal Carolina, Penn State, Seton Hall, Iona and Marist.
"It was hard to turn down the offer," Rex said. "I liked the program. I liked the coach [Sabrina Lane]. They had my major [sports psychology]. I feel stress-free now. I can enjoy the season, and I can enjoy my senior season next year. I don't have to worry about picking a school."
"I think it's a good fit for her," P-O coach Jim Gonder said, "because it's a Division I program. I watched them play against Penn State, and I think they're going in the right direction."
Rex, who went 11-1 with a 0.78 earned run average and 136 strikeouts in 71 innings as a sophomore, is believed to be the first P-O softball player to accept a Division I scholarship.
That's fitting because the hard-throwing right-hander, who opened the season with a 13-strikeout performance against DuBois, has been living softball for a long time.
"I love the game," she said. "I've been playing since I was 6 years old, and for the last five years, I've been playing year-round. I want to keep getting better and playing better teams."
"She's a very hard worker," Gonder said. "She plays softball 365 days a year. She loves the game. They [St. Francis] are getting a girl that has put the time in for softball."
Rex shares the circle with senior Kelsey Gonder in a knockout pitching rotation for the Lady Mounties that netted a rare combined perfect game against Cambria Heights in the District 6 playoffs last season.
Rex just isn't a pitcher either. A third baseman when she's not pitching, she hit .333 and tied for the team lead in home runs with five.
Rex credits former Moshannon Valley great and current Bellwood-Antis girls basketball coach Ali Stinson, former Mo Valley head coach Dave Stodart and Penn State pitching coach Michelle Hawkins for making her better through pitching lessons.
She said she made two visits to Loretto, and Lane saw her play during the summer.
But will she be able to take her game to the next level and get better with the Red Flash? The Flash are 9-20 this season using the tandem of sophomore Megan Layne and freshman Carmen Gurrola.
"I'm pretty confident I can," Rex said. "I like the bigger games and the pressure. I played this summer on the TNT Gold team, and we went to California and Florida to play. We played a lot of big teams out there.
"Pretty much whoever the better pitcher is will pitch. I believe I'll pitch quite a bit there. I'm really excited to play at the next level."