©Dale Zanine 2020_10_2900676.JPG

North Gwinnett's Amber Reed (15) pitches against Grayson during the state playoffs at Buford High School.

Class AAAAAAA

Region 8-AAAAAAA

Collins Hill

Head coach: Adam Newland

2020 record: 9-19

Returning starters: 3B/SS/2B Monroe Oglesby, Jr.; SS/2B Kam Munson, Soph.; C Emma Acosta, Jr.; INF Britney Phally, Sr.; OF Lana Moore, Jr.; P/OF Sydney Kolacki, Jr.; C/OF Sarah Buchanan, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: INF Bella Sullivan, Fr.; UP Camryn Williams, Fr.; P/OF McKenzie Jones, Fr.

Coach’s take: “We hope the experience gained last year will help prepare the returning players for our difficult region slate and a hopeful return to the state playoffs.”

Mill Creek

Head coach: Paul Pierce

2020 record: 17-15, first round of state playoffs

Returning starters: DP Lael Ayala, Sr.; OF Ari Cox, Jr.; SS Olivia Shaw, Jr.; OF Alora Bevily, Jr.; P Lindsay Kline, Jr.; INF Cameron Wade, Jr.; UP Jasmine Sanchez, Jr.

Coach’s take: “We are excited about the opportunities that 2021 brings to our softball program at Mill Creek. We also pray for a more normal year for our girls so they can experience a true softball season without COVID interruptions.”

Mountain View

Head coach: Mike Cason

2020 record: 25-9, second round of state playoffs

Returning starters: P/OF Ahmari Braden, Jr.; OF Bria Finley, Jr.; SS Callie Shrope, Soph.

Coach’s take: “We have a very young, yet talented, team. How quickly we learn to manage adversity, and grow from it, will largely define how our season goes.”

North Gwinnett

Head coach: Amanda Heil

2020 record/playoff finish: 33-8, state runner-up

Returning starters: C Marisa Miller, Sr.; OF Simone Leonard, Sr.; P Lilly Runaas, Sr.; P Amber Reed, Jr.; SS Bella Faw, Jr.; 2B Ella Janish, Jr.; DH Jaylyn Benson, Jr.

Other key players/newcomers: OF Mia Mitchell, Sr.; INF Sarah Cobb, Sr.; INF/C Savannah Hardy, Sr.; INF Lexie Na, Sr.; OF Landry Rabitsch, Sr.; INF Malissa Felbaum, Jr.

Coach’s take: “With 12 returning varsity players, the expectations are high this year for the Bulldogs. After finishing as runner-up this past season, the girls are more motivated than ever.”

Peachtree Ridge

Head coach: Josh Joiner

2020 record: 21-9, second round of state playoffs

Returning starters: P/INF D’Amani Gadson, Sr.; C Samantha Brown, Jr.; 2B Emily Zimmerman, Sr.; SS Jaylah Jarrell, Jr.; OF Juhles Kelly, Sr.; OF Kennedy Harp, Jr.; OF Zaia Hammond, Sr.; UP Sidney Strange, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: 1B Madison Jenkins, Jr.; 3B Caroline Gilmore, Sr.; OF Radha Amin, Sr.

Coach’s take: “I am very excited to see what this group can do. We have a ton of experience in our dugout this year, and I think that experience is going to help us reach our goals.”

Region 7-AAAAAAA

Archer

Head coach: Emily Wilson

2020 record: 25-7, state semifinals

Returning starters: INF/OF Katelynn Walls, Sr.; C/INF Alex Hollingsworth, Sr.; C/INF Mallory Clark, Sr.; P Mallory Tullis, Sr.; INF Taniya McGowan, Jr.; OF Taylor Anderson, Jr.

Other key players/newcomers: P Natalie Hogan, Jr.; OF Belle Harris, Sr.; OF Kylie Ryhmer, Sr.; P/INF Annake Meadows, Fr.; INF/OF Jadyn Jenks, Fr.

Coach’s take: “I am excited about this year to see how some of our newcomers are able to contribute. We have a strong senior class that we feel can help lead this team this season.”

Discovery

Head coach: Nicole Osborn

2020 record: 5-10

Returning starters: SS Jasmine Richardson, Sr.; LF Dakota Vaughn, Sr.; C Angelica Cortina, Jr.; P Andrea Ruelas, Soph.; 3B Terran Harper, Jr.; 1B Mya McDonald, Jr.; RF Yoali Shanchez, Sr.; 2B Maria Yoselin Bonilla, Soph.; C/1B Genevieve Munoz, Sr.; 2B Gabrielle Chavez, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: RF Gabrielle Ramirez, Sr.; LF Kayla Zimmerman, Soph.; RF Daniela Menjivar; LF Caroline Skelley, Soph.

Coach’s take: “We are looking forward to a great season. We have many girls that have been with us for a while now who have grown a lot over the years, so it will be exciting to see them compete.”

Norcross

Head coach: Hannah Beth Baker

2020 record: 12-13, first round of state playoffs

Returning starters: C Molly Hamrick, Sr.; CF Sara Tracey, Sr.; SS/2B Lea Smith, Jr.; RHP/1B Lea Cohen; OF Addie Donahue, Jr.; SS/2B Cate Sidey, Soph.; LHP/1B Emma Sidey, Soph.; Valeria Solorzano, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: UP Brooke Bailey, Jr.; UP Mia Obregon, Jr.; 3B Reagan McCoy, Fr.; OF Lea Davies, Fr.; RHP/INF Sara Moran, Fr.; UP Kieran Shah, Fr.

Coach’s take: “I am excited to see the limits that my athletes can push themselves to physically and mentally. The strength of unity goes a long way with this team. It builds culture and if our culture is sound, it’s a good place to be.”

Region 4-AAAAAAA

Brookwood

Head coach: Jennifer Maloney

2020 record: 16-16, second round of state playoffs

Returning starters: 2B Olivia Jaime, Sr.; 3B Thalia Martin, Jr.; SS Jessica Newsome, Jr.; C Olivia Rogozinski, Jr.; OF Kennedy Horton, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: OF/SS Kayla Widy, Sr.; P/1B Maddie Holmes, Sr.; P/1B Rachel Clark, Jr.; 1B Ella Bahr, Jr.; P/OF Camryn Alexander, Jr.; P/1B Ashley Mejia-Vega, Soph.; OF Kylin Beard-Thompson, Soph.; OF/1B Madison Oliver, Soph.; OF/SS Lorelei Sullivan, Fr.

Coach’s take: “This team has players that are veteran varsity players and only juniors.  The experience these players have should help propel us into the postseason and gives us the leadership we need to be successful throughout the regular season.”

Grayson

Head coach: Bill Batchelor

2020 record: 28-7, state quarterfinals

Returning starters: CF Emma Davis, Sr.; LF Nia McKnight, Soph.; RF Carrie Green, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: INF Megan Dagenhart, Sr.; INF Ansley Cook, Sr.; INF/C Ashley Austin, Sr.; C Carter Freeman, Sr.; P/INF Rylee Summers, Sr.; INF Carolaine Pettit, Sr.; INF Savannah White, Sr.

Coach’s take: “Our goal each year is to be playing our best softball at the end of the season. Our schedule is very challenging to start, and we should find out quick what we need to focus on to reach our goal. Our strengths are our team chemistry and players are very coachable. This group is used to being successful on and off the field and I expect nothing less from them.”

Parkview

Head coach: Jessica Sinclair

2020 record: 15-18, second round of state playoffs

Returning starters: SS Kaily Collett, Sr.; C Bella Arnold, Sr.; CF Neriah Lee, Sr.; 3B Kayla Lester, Sr.; OF Olivia Schultz, Sr.; RF Lauren Brister, Jr.; OF Kyla Maxwell, Jr.; 2B Hailey Morgan, Jr.; SS/2B Zayla Skakel, Jr.; P Olivia Kotowski, Soph.; 1B/C Braelyn Queen, Soph.

Coach’s take: “This team was young and inexperienced last year, yet they still found ways to find some success in the postseason. This year you can expect to see a team that is more confident with a great mix of experience and talent. I’m excited to see how far they can push themselves.”

Class AAAAAA

Region 8-AAAAAA

Buford

Head coach: Trent Adams

2020 record: 32-8, state semifinals

Returning starters: 2B Taylor Malvin, Sr.; P Olivia Duncan, Jr.; C/3B Emma Castorri, Jr.; OF Tayve Borders, Soph.; C/3B Madison Pickens, Soph.; SS Mackenzie Pickens, Soph.; P Emma Grace Williams, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: P Olivia Haag, Sr.; OF Alex Vazquez, Sr.; 1B Adrianna Martinez, Soph.; OF/P Morgan Sullivan, Soph.; OF Abby McKinnis, Fr.; OF Emma Manders, Jr.; INF Jenn Ramirez, Jr.

Coach’s take: “With the loss of some very talented seniors from the 2020 season, we will have to have some young players step up. I am very excited about the season due to the hard work the girls have put in this offseason. I feel we have a chance to be competitive in the circle with a number of girls who have some experience from last year. We will need to play good defense and be productive at the plate. Experience early for some of the girls will be key to region play.”

Central Gwinnett

Head coach: Chad Smith

2020 record: 3-15

Returning starters: SS Ximena Garcia, Sr.; 1B She’Deja Martin, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: C Derriya Cousin, Sr.; 3B Zara Rowell, Fr.

Coach’s take: “I have been very pleased with our progress so far. The girls have started to come together and play as a team. I think that we have some very good young talent on our team this year with a balance or senior leadership. I am looking forward to watching the players grow and continue to develop this year.”

Dacula

Head coach: Kelli Poff

2020 record: 21-7, first round of state playoffs

Returning starters: P/1B Maia Mumpfield, Sr.; SS Emily Digby, Jr.; 3B Emily Stern, Jr.; C Lani Johnson, Jr.; 1B Olivia Howard, Jr.; OF Sydney Spayd, Jr.; 2B Izzy Forestier, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: OF Reanna Durrence, Jr.; OF Saige Herbst, Fr.

Coach’s take: “We were really young last year so I am excited to see their growth this season. Our leadership is strong and they play the game with energy and passion, so it’s going to be a fun ride.”

Lanier

Head coach: Caitlin Schmidt

2020 record: 11-16

Returning starters: P/INF Lauren Cothern, Sr.; OF Kelsi Renuart, Sr.; 3B Celia Sampona, Jr.; C/UP Sam Fadely, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: OF Madison Baessler, Soph.; UP Ansley Idland, Fr.; INF Abby Ledford, Fr.; P/INF Ashley Miner, Soph.; OF Linsey Peevy, Soph.; OF Sydney Scott, Jr.; UP Kirah Walker, Fr.; P/1B Addi Willett, Soph.

Coach’s take: “#NOEXCUSES. That's the mantra for the Lady Longhorns this season. With only four seniors — Lauren Cothern, Madison Fadely, Ryley Fleming and Kelsi Renuart — and two juniors — Celia Sampona and Sydney Scott — the Lady Longhorns are young, but quickly getting a firm grasp on the gritty competitive mentality being preached on the field. Multi-positional player sophomore Samantha Fadely is expected to play a big role in Lanier's season as are rising freshmen Ansley Idland, Abby Ledford and Kirah Walker.”

Shiloh

Head coach: Chris Polk

2020 record: 1-19

Returning starters: SS/C Taylor Chambliss, Sr.; 2B/OF Patty Cyrus, Sr.; OF Montia Edwards, Jr.; P/1B Hope Gunn, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: OF Tramaya Smith, Jr.; OF Ashlynn Canada, Soph.

Coach’s take: “We changed regions and had a tough time adjusting to the new teams. I expect us to be more cohesive as a team with strong senior leadership. Our strength will be our willingness to compete through the ups and downs.”

Class AAA

Region 5-AAA

Greater Atlanta Christian

Head coach: Dave Martin

2020 record: 8-11, first round of state playoffs

Returning starters: 1B Charlee Cutchins, Sr.; C Caroline Marschalk, Sr.; RF Daisy Strine, Sr.; 2B Rachel Pellegrini, Jr.; LF Karis Davis, Jr.; CF Cydney Merrick, Jr.; 3B Sarah Thomas, Jr.; SS Annie Ahmed, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: P Dadrianna Bennett, Jr.; INF Sydney Barbour, Fr.; INF Reagan Hufham, Soph.; OF Abbey Duke, Jr.

Coach’s take: “Cutchins, Marschalk, Pellegrini and Ahmed lead a contingent of eight returning starters that qualified for playoffs last season. Bennett is leading the charge to replace 2020 all-county performer, Sydney Deardorff, in the circle. Team chemistry and increased depth have sparked healthy competition as the team looks to improve in 2021.”

Class A Private

Region 5-A Private

Hebron Christian

Head coach: Demetrius Frazier

2020 record/playoff finish: 12-10, second round of state playoffs

Returning starters: P/2B Layton Morris, Sr.; 1B Jessie Parish, Sr.; P/SS Dylan McCormack, Sr.; SS/C Olivia Brewer, Jr.; CF Natalie Helton, Jr.; LF Bryleigh Sissom, Jr.

Coach’s take: “We are excited about the girls we have returning from last year’s team and look forward to building on the success we have experienced the last couple of years.”

Providence Christian

Head coach: Preston Smith

2020 record: 3-18

Returning starters: INF/P Maymie deMayo, Sr.; OF Camille Gunter, Sr.; C/INF Anna Reeves, Jr.; INF Lindsay Mosley, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: P/INF Katie Perry, Fr.; OF Megan Knight, Sr.; INF Anna Hightower, Sr.

Coach’s take: “Katie Perry's arrival should help stabilize things in the circle and allow deMayo to play her natural position on the infield. With those two and Reeves, we have a solid middle of the order that should help carry us to a much better finish than the last few seasons. The state playoffs are very much in reach.”

Wesleyan

Head coach: Mary Stephenson

2020 record: 16-12, state quarterfinals

Returning starters: OF Tinsley Bertram, Sr.; P/OF Jessica Nolan, Sr.; INF Christina McCoy, Jr.; P/1B Ryley Kutter, Jr.; P/1B Macey Cintron, Soph.; C/INF Marjee Williams, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: OF Imani Washington, Sr.; OF/C Anna Sophia Pinson, Jr.

Coach’s take: “If we learned anything from 2020, it is to appreciate each day and each game as a unique opportunity and not to take any practice or game for granted. So, our expectation this season is to appreciate every opportunity we get to put on our uniform and compete. We’ve got a solid senior class who I expect to provide strong leadership for a talented group of underclassmen. We are hungry to get back to Columbus and will be focused and unified in our commitment to do the work required to realize that goal.”

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