2007 Softball Preview

 

Region 8-AAAAA

 

Berkmar

Coach: Mike Lancaster

2006 record: 7-20

Returning starters:

OF Brittani Bumb, Soph.

P Taylor Deason, Soph.

SS/1B Samantha Myers, Soph.

2B/OF Tiffany Slieff, Sr.

C/SS Nikki Threat, Sr.

Other key contributors: OF Mimi Nguyen, Jr.; OF Amanda Starnes, Jr.; 1B Brandi Minshew, Jr.

Coach Lancaster's take: "We will be extremely young and inexperienced. We only have two seniors and the other three returning starters are just sophomores. Our region is always tough and this year won't be any different. We hope to play as competitively as we can and work to get better every day."

Brookwood

Coach: Bill Batchelor

2006 record: 16-20, made Class AAAAA North Sectional

Returning starters:

CF Jamey Chapman, Sr.

2B Shivani Ghodadra, Jr.

P Allison Glisson, Jr.

3B Meredith Hallman, Sr.

SS Kacie Shields, Sr.

C Julia Westbrook, Soph.

Other key contributors: LF Samantha Warneke, Sr.; RF Lisa Parkerson, Sr.

Coach Batchelor's take: "We return a solid group with five senior leaders. We have to limit our mistakes and find a way to win the close games. We should be pretty strong offensively. Two early tournaments should help us before region play begins."

Central Gwinnett

Coach: Kristopher Daniels

2006 record: 9-24

Returning starters:

CF Rosie Bish, Soph.

P Ginny Emery, Jr.

1B Caitlin Moyer, Sr.

2B Katie New, Soph.

SS Alyssa Pane, Soph.

Other key contributors: C/OF Bri Hampton, Fr.; 3B Jennifer Mathews, Fr.; C Ashlyn Arp, Fr.

Coach Daniels' take: "We're still going to be really young with 13 freshmen and sophomores filling out the roster. I think we will be much improved from last year though and should battle for a playoff spot. We have a small but good group of upperclassmen who are providing a good deal of leadership."

Grayson

Coach

Coach : Troy Pirkle

2006 record: 22-16, made Class AAAAA North Sectional

Returning starters:

SS/2B Shannon Bear, Sr.

P/1B/OF Mandi Burns, Sr.

3B/SS Hayley Downs, Soph.

C/OF Amanda Hutcheson, Sr.

1B/OF Lauren Mathis, Sr.

OF Blake Wilson, Sr.

Other key contributors: OF/P Ashley Berger, Jr.; OF Ariel LaRocca, Jr.; P/1B Nancy Hill, Jr.; 1B/OF Kayla Neeley, Jr.; C/OF Kelly Ross, Jr.; OF/1B Heidi McNelly, Soph.; 2B/OF Rachel McElroy, Fr.

Coach Pirkle's take: "We have a number of returning starters from last year's team. There were also a number of players who gained some valuable varsity experience last season. Hopefully we will be able to benefit from that experience and translate it into success this year."

Meadowcreek

Coach : Carmetta Holmes

2006 record: 3-12, non-region

Returning starters:

P Brittanie McCain, Sr.

C Aaryn Sells, Sr.

Other key contributors: RF Karrie McGrew, Soph.; CF LaSha Burney, Sr.; LF Enjoli Kemp, Soph.

Coach Holmes' take: "This year we're going to have a young team. We have a lot more ninth- and 10th-graders involved this year."

Parkview

Coach : Steve Westmoreland

2006 record: 21-15, made Class AAAAA North Sectional

Returning starters:

OF Laura Bostwick, Sr.

2B Kendra Bryson, Sr.

P Kelly Croxton, Sr.

OF Jordan DeArmon, Jr.

SS Jamie Dennis, Jr.

3B Courtney Folsom, Sr.

OF Summer Rose, Soph.

1B Jennifer Wormley, Jr.

Other key contributors: C/OF Brittany Breymeier, Sr.; C Katie Block, Fr.; C/OF Sara Coker, Fr.

Coach Westmoreland's take: "We have a lot of experience returning from last year with a group of girls who have worked extremely hard this summer. If we can improve on our offensive production and continue to pitch well and play good defense as in years past, we should be able to have another very successful season."

 

Shiloh

Coach : Melissa Lewis

2006 record: 15-17-1, made Class AAAAA North Sectional

Returning starters:

SS India Austin, Sr.

LF Vanessa Ayer, Sr.

RF Amanda Bradford, Sr.

1B Shirlita Donald, Sr.

C Lauren Lynn, Jr.

3B Hannah Piatt, Jr.

Other key contributors: P Catherine Simpson, Soph.; 3B/P Amber Stillwell; 2B/P Monet Daley

Coach Lewis' take: We are expecting big things from a very talented group of girls and great leadership from our returning players. We will rely on solid defense behind our young pitchers. This team has been working hard to improve the overall program and continue the standard that was set last year."

South Gwinnett

Coach : Ryan Queen

2006 record: 14-17

Returning starters:

SS Hanna Ennis, Sr.

OF Tara Hartnett, Jr.

2B Aimee Koehlke, Sr.

P Rachel Ludick, Jr.

OF Liza Rackett, Sr.

1B Colette Rollins, Sr.

P Mary White, Sr.

Other key contributors: C Ashley Buckett, Sr.; 3B Jordan Suther, Jr.

Coach Queen's take: "We have five returning starters and are loaded with experience with only two underclassmen. We hope to use that experience and advance this year into the playoffs and have success."

 

 

 

Region 7-AAAAA

 

Collins Hill

Coach: Billy Dooley

2006 record: 26-9-1, Class AAAAA runner-up

Returning starters:

P Erin Collins, Sr.

C Caroline Cooper, Sr.

SS Lindsay Ellenburg, Sr.

OF Alexa Lewis, Jr.

3B Kathleen Pulliam, Sr.

Other key contributors: P Kim Mason, Sr.; OF Catherine Palmer, Sr.; OF Kellie Edmondson, Sr.

Coach Dooley's take: "Playing in the toughest region in the state, we hope to come out ready to play every single game this season and continue to build on the success of the past four years. We know that those four years won't help us win games this year, but it gives us something to strive for."

Duluth

Coach : Dawn Marsh

2006 record: 14-15

Returning starters:

OF Abby Baines, Jr.

OF Kristen Colburn, Sr.

OF Chantelle Curinton, Soph.

2B Audrey Fortmann, Soph.

3B Ashia Hilliard, Soph.

1B/OF Christina Holt, Jr.

P Ivy Knox, Soph.

C Sam Martin, Soph.

SS Olivia McGehee, Sr.

Other key contributors: OF Tara Johnson, Sr.; OF Shoundedra Mack, Jr.; 2B Megan Lipps, Soph.; OF Moriah Bowman, Soph.

Coach Marsh's take: "This team should be very competitive this year. We are returning a lot of young starters with a young bench that has game experience from last year. The ninth-graders will have their chances, too, in this tough region."

 

Mill Creek

Coach : Kelly Murdock

2006 record: 31-9, third in Class AA

Returning starters:

P/OF Morgan Bullock, Jr.

SS/2B Hannah Graham, Jr.

C Stephanie Konkle, Sr.

2B/SS Amberlie Saxton, Jr.

OF Brittany Singer, Sr.

OF Lauren Stimis, Sr.

Other key contributors: 1B Cynthia Parkhurst, Jr.; C/1B Devin Dossman, Jr.; 3B Allie Millonig, Jr.; C/3B Chelsea Cruce, Soph.; C Brittany McDade, Sr.; P Megan Lock, Sr.; OF Alex Rogers, Jr.; IF Kara Copeland, Jr.

Coach Murdock's take: "This season we will be looking for leadership from our upperclassmen, who have a lot of experience in big-game situations. Good pitching and defense will be the keys to our success."

Norcross

Coach: Michelle Bowden

2006 record: 13-10

Returning starters:

1B/OF Katie Bostick, Jr.

C/2B Anisha Dixon, Jr.

P/SS Samantha Findling, Soph.

OF Lauren Kinney, Jr.

OF/1B Laura Purvis, Jr.

3B/SS Heidi Shape, Soph.

P/3B Jaime Silvester, Jr.

Other key contributors: 1B/3B/OF Annie Hicks, Sr.; 2B/SS/P Alexandra Foulke, Fr.

Coach Bowden's take: "It's exciting to have a strong nucleus of returning players who now have some varsity experience under their belts. With the addition of Alexandra Foulke and Annie Hicks, we will be better prepared to compete in the toughest region in the state. I'm looking forward to coaching this great group of young ladies. They are a joy to be around because of their positive attitudes and strong work ethic."

North Gwinnett

Coach: Randy Black

2006 record: 17-11

Returning starters:

C Emily Althafer, Sr.

LF/P Brittany Broome, Jr.

2B Brandee Kocik, Jr.

RF Kacy Martin, Jr.

P/1B Mary Beth O'Rouke, Sr.

SS Sammie Rao, Jr.

CF Emily Whitaker, Sr.

Other key contributors: 3B Alexis Anderson, Soph.; OF Kristen Hall, Jr.

Coach Black's take: "We have a strong senior class returning and we should be deep off the bench. We have some sophomores and freshmen who will be pushing for varsity playing time."

Peachtree Ridge

Coach: Bubba Wilson

2006 record: 23-10-1, made state semifinals

Returning starters:

OF Gabby Bedard, Soph.

INF Callie Fernandez, Jr.

OF Allisoin Leigh, Sr.

P/INF Emily Osterhaus, Jr.

INF Chelsea Parrish, Sr.

OF/DH Michele Wagner, Sr.

INF/DH Kensi Weir, Jr.

Other key contributors: P/INF Krysten Connelly, Jr.; C/INF Sade Johnson, Soph.; OF Erin Evans, Jr.; P/INF Eli Simpson, Jr.; OF Catherine Dell, Sr.; INF Carli Cates, Jr.

Coach Wilson's take: "I think we can have a solid team because of two good pitchers who throw strikes and our ability to catch the ball. Scoring runs in our region will always be interesting because of the quality pitchers. This year will not be any different."

 

 

Region 8-AAAA

 

 

Dacula

Coach: Tracy Keefer

2006 record: 22-7-1, made Class AAAA North Sectional

Returning starters:

Megan Little, Sr.

Kelsey Martin, Jr.

Sam Ramey, Soph.

SS Charlotte Sieber, Soph.

Other key contributors: P Sarah Bentley, Jr.

Coach Keefer's take: "We lost six seniors from last year, with five being starters. This year's team will be young, but full of potential."

 

Region 6-AA

 

Buford

Coach: Tony Wolfe

2006 record: 29-11, third in Class AA

Returning starters:

P/CF Melissa Higginbotham, Sr.

SS Whitney Holman, Jr.

C Ashley Razey, Sr.

3B Alysha Rudnik, Soph.

2B Jennifer Tucker, Sr.

1B Shelbi Valek, Jr.

Other key contributors: INF/OF Nicole Bell, Sr.; OF Brandi Hellemn, Jr.

Coach Wolfe's take: "We have an outstanding group of seniors returning, starters back at all infield positions and a senior pitcher in Higginbotham. We must get contributions from some younger players in the outfield and in the circle to contend in region and state play."

GAC

Coach: Judy Tenney

2006 record: 28-14, Class AA runner-up

Returning starters:

OF Madeline Baker, Jr.

OF Carly Busbee, Soph.

P Jessica Coan, Sr.

OF/P Kelsey McDavid, Jr.

OF Chaney Means, Soph.

C Mollie Mitchell, Sr.

IF Reagan Page, Sr.

Coach Tenney's take: "We have a core of returning players who are experienced and excited about this season. Along with that group are several young players who should be able to add depth to this year's team."

Wesleyan

Coach: Nichole Dixon

2006 record: 18-10

Returning starters:

SS Erin Hall, Soph.

P/1B Paige Hamlin, Jr.

CF Jessie Huff, Sr.

C Whitney Warren, Sr.

LF Emily Worthington, Sr.

Other key contributors: OF Kelsey Sanders, Soph.; 3B Logan Morris, Soph.; P/1B Brittany Mitchell, Fr.

Coach Dixon's take: "The team will be led by a great group of seniors and juniors that are willing to put in the time to getting better each time they take the field."

Region 8-A

 

Region 5-A

Hebron

Coach: Lindsey Gillis

2006 record: 5-5 in region

Returning starters:

OF Meredith Cowden, Jr.

C Rachael Duval, Sr.

SS Megan Griffin, Soph.

2B Dee Dee Lawrence, Soph.

CF Britt Pecht, Sr.

Other key contributors: P Megan Dixon, Fr.; 3B Natalie Dixon, Fr.; 2B/OF Caitlyn McDonald; P Victoria Sink, Jr.

Coach Gillis' take: "This is a building year for us here at HCA. Losing five seniors last year will no doubt take a toll on us. They were very talented. But we have brought up some very interesting talent from within the school. Pitcher Megan Dixon will definitely be an asset to the team as well as returning starter Rachael Duval at the catcher position."

 

Providence

Coach: Scotty Strong

2006 record: 23-13, made Class A North Sectional

Returning starters:

P/OF Brittany Ellington, Sr.

2B Cassi Flowers, Sr.

1B/OF Courtney Frazier, Jr.

OF/C Caitlin McDowell, Jr.

SS Cory Rodgers, Soph.

3B Kendal White, Jr.

Other key contributors: P/INF Kylie Kleinschmidt, Fr.; C Morgan Johnston, Soph.; OF Breanna Thompson, Jr.; OF Rachel Reiswig, Jr.

Coach Strong's take: "If we can stay healthy and work hard in practice, seeking to improve each and every day, we ought to be able to compete. You can't always control the outcome of games but you can control how you prepare for them."