“I call her the team go-to girl because she doesn’t miss practice, works a job, carries a high grade point average and is a hard worker.”
That’s how Okmulgee softball coach Dewayne Hammer describes Lady Bulldog senior Mercedes Cosby. She’s now an accomplished outfielder but it hasn’t always been that way according to Hammer.
“She didn’t start playing softball until seventh grade so her skills were still developing when she reached high school. She had a great arm but struggled to catch a fly ball. I tried every trick, every drill I knew to help her. Then one day one of the football coaches, Scott Bevan, came by and saw us working with Mercedes and asked if he could talk to her. So he went out, talked to her a few minutes and then said ‘hit her one’. I hit a fly ball, she caught it and hit another and another and she caught them all. I asked him what he said to her and he said ‘I told her not to overthink things and don’t worry so much’. These were things I had been preaching to her but maybe hearing it from a less authoritative person made the difference. She’s since become one of the best outfielders to come through here,” said Hammer.
Destiny says that getting into softball was kind of an accidental event.
“I was running track in middle school and decided I didn’t want to do it anymore so the softball coach said ‘with your speed why don’t you come over here and run bases for me?’ And it just took off from there.”
In addition to softball, Mercedes played post on the Lady Bulldogs basketball team, is part of the Royal Heritage Program and is vice-president of the senior class. She is also one of two high schoolers involved in the Downtown Main Street Board that does the planning for many of the community events that take place in Okmulgee. She describes herself as kind of a goof so perhaps that’s why one of her best athletic memories is not very traditional.
“I remember a game where I forgot my cleats so I was playing in regular athletic shoes. The outfield that day was really muddy. They hit a fly ball my way and as I raced to get it, I slipped and face-planted in the mud,” she laughed. “But I was still able to stick my glove out and make the catch.”
After she leaves Okmulgee, Mercedes Cosby says she plans to attend the University of Central Oklahoma and study sociology to become a social psychologist.