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Creech signs to play softball at N.C. Wesleyan

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SMITHFIELD — Smithfield-Selma High varsity softball senior Hailey Creech fulfilled a dream by signing to play softball at North Carolina Wesleyan on Monday and she will become the first member in her immediate family to go to college.

Creech said initially some coaches turned her down and said she wasn’t what they were looking for, but she just worked harder. Creech continued searching and found the perfect school for her.

“I had coaches say that I wasn’t good enough for them, so it made me want to work harder and become a better athlete,” Creech said. “I was interested in going to the school because they have the major I want to do, exercise science. In January, I went on official visit and I committed.”

The pitcher said she’s happy to complete the goal she had set for herself and that her parents get to see her do something they never did. Creech is also glad to set the example for her younger brother to see.

“It’s something neither of my parents have ever done,” Creech said. “It’s an honor to show them that I can do something, that I’m able to do it and not let anything hold me back. It makes me have great pride in myself and makes me want to push even harder than what I do now as a student and as a daughter to my parents and my brother.”

Creech said her best friend - her father - Chris was instrumental in her development as a softball player because of how much they work out together. Chris said he couldn’t be prouder of Hailey and her accomplishments.

“It’s been a long 18 years and she’s come a long way from doing tee-ball, to travel ball, to succeeding in high school all the way up to the next level in college,” Chris Creech said. “She’s had offers from other colleges but this is the right fit for everybody. It was amazing the amount of love that they showed us as a family.”