MILTON — Two Milton Panther softball players signed Division 1 scholarships to play at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) at an event held at the high school last Friday.

Caroline Worrell and Maddie Vasquez have been softball teammates for the past seven years. They will continue that relationship at the USM.

"It instantly clicked as soon as I got there," Vasquez said of her official visit to USM. She added that there was a good connection with the coach and the players. Vasquez had also received offers from the University of West Florida, Troy University and Jacksonville.

"Maddie has a good chance of starting her first year at middle infield, short stop or second base," Panther coach Kevin Jordan said.

Vasquez's travel team coach Tim Dunsford described her as a hard worker, great teammate and a professional hitter. Vasquez plans to study biological or environmental sciences at USM.

"I love the campus, I love the coaches most of all and I want to continue my softball career," Worrell said about why she picked the USM. Worrell said USM was the first school that offered her a scholarship and she took the visit immediately, "I loved it," she said.  Worrell decided to go to USM after the visit and did not entertain any other offers.

Coach Jordan and Dunsford along with Worrell's father who coached her before high school described her as a fierce competitor with a strong work ethic. Worrell said she would most likely study accounting at Southern Mississippi.

Both players are excited about going to the same school. "It gives me happiness and just gives me comfort to knowing that I have somebody there with me," Worrell said of teammate Vasquez joining her at USM. Vasquez echoed the sentiment saying, "I'm so excited, it is hard to believe, because that normally doesn't happen to a lot of girls, but I'm really excited for it."

"It's been awesome here," Vasquez said of her time as a Milton Panther.

"I loved every minute of it," Worrell said.