Head Coach: Emily Wilson
2021 Record: 9-16; Region 7-AAAAAAA champion; first round, Class AAAAAAA state playoffs
Returning Starters: OF Taylor Anderson, Sr.; RHP/IF Annake Meadows, Soph.; C/IF Naomi Meyer, Jr.; P Natalie Hogan, Sr.
Other Key Returners: 1B/OF Abby Parkerson, Sr.; IF/OF Erin Lott, Sr.; 1B/OF McKenzie Studdards, Sr.; P Erin Eakin, Sr.; IF/C Kaitlyn Rojas, Jr.
Other Key Newcomers: IF/C Cadence Lambert, Soph.; OF Alexis Evans, Fr.; OF Addison Smith, Fr.; C/OF Lily Rodriguez, Sr.; IF Mia Johnson, Fr.
Outlook: After battling through some rough times in non-region play to take the Region 7 title last year, the Tigers move over to Region 4 this fall with a squad that features an interesting mix of youth and experience, and quite a bit of talent. If team chemistry can develop as expected, they should be able to challenge in a fairly wide open region.
Head Coach: Casey Parham
2021 Record: 10-16; fourth in region; first round, Class AAAAAAA state playoffs
Returning Starters: 1B Ella Bahr, Sr.; RHP Rachel Clark, Sr.; 3B Thalia Martin, Sr.; C/SS Jessica Newman, Sr.; C Olivia Rogozinski, Sr.; OF Kennedy Horton, Jr.; SS/OF Lorelei Sullivan, Soph.; C Anna Hillmer, Soph.
Other Key Returners: RHP/1B Ashley Mejia-Vega, Jr.; UT Madison Oliver, Jr.; OF Jeremyah Adams, Jr.; OF Amira Mondesir, Jr.; 2B Sydney Thisdale, Jr.
Key Newcomers: RHP/3B Kiersten Constantino, Fr.; 2B Tavia Robinson, Fr.; OF Madalynne Tingle, Fr.; C/IF Deborah Bonilla, Fr.; RHP/1B Nya Langlais, Fr.
Outlook: After a down season (by Brookwood standards) with young squad last year, the Broncos return several significant contributors, including eight starters, who are a year older, wiser and more mature. Add in a a few important newcomers, and Parham, in his first season as head coach after serving as an assistant the past four years, is looking for his team to make a noise in Region 4-AAAAAAA and perhaps beyond.
Head Coach: Bill Batchelor
2021 Record: 20-14; region runner-up; second round, Class AAAAAAA state playoffs
Returning Starters: OF Nia McKnight, Jr. (.413 , 7 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, school-record 47 RBI, 25 SB); OF Carrie Green, Jr. (.449, 9 2B, 29 RBI, 29 R, 30 SB); OF Alex Wiley, Sr. (.292, 10 SB, 21 R); LHP Anna DeBerry, Sr.; SS Braxtyn Battle, Jr.; 3B Grace Bryant, Jr.; IF Elizabeth Bowens, Jr.
Other Key Returners: IF Wendy Serratos, Sr.; IF/OF Erin McCoomer, Sr.; RHP Bailey Fowler, Soph.
Outlook: For the second straight year, the Rams will enter the season after being hit hard by graduation (17 graduated seniors combined in 2020 and 2021). That said, Batchelor has constantly shown a knack for getting the most out of his players, and he is very pleased with the way his 2022 group compete. The Rams also have a plus of having a trio of potential big-time catalysts returning in the outfield in McKnight, Green and Wiley.
Head Coach: Jessica Sinclair
2021 Record: 21-9; region champion; second round, Class AAAAAAA state playoffs
Returning Starters: OF Lauren Brister, Sr.; OF Kyla Maxwell, Sr.; IF Hailey Morgan, Sr.; IF Zayla Skakel, Sr.; C/IF Braelyn Queen, Jr.; RHP Olivia Kotowski, Jr.
Other Key Returners: OF Ally Graden, Sr.; RHP Izzy Salinas, Sr.
Key Newcomers: IF/C Sophie Arnold, Fr.; OF Sara Claire Hall, Fr.; UT Jessica Brooks, Soph.
Outlook: The defending region champs return six starters in 2022, including second-team All-County pitcher Kotowski. With the addition of several intriguing newcomers, the Panthers have set their sights even higher this fall.
South Gwinnett Comets
Head Coach: Jalana Brown
2021 Results: Fifth in region
Returning Starters: RHP Marissa Kemp, Jr.; RHP Lauryn Perkins, Sr.; C Heaven Tucker, Soph.; IF/OF Leiah Ricks, Sr.; IF Erica Cox, Jr.; OF India Henderson, Sr.
Other Key Players: OF/OF Daphne Burton, Jr.; OF/1B Jorden Allen, Sr.; IF/OF Kyndal Duff, Sr.; IF Janai Webster, Sr.
Key Newcomers: IF Taylor Henry, Soph.; OF Surai Williams, Soph.
Outlook: After a rough ride a year ago, Coach Brown is more optimistic for 2022 thanks to the progress several Comets have made the past several season, especially the senior class.
Did not report
Head Coach: Nicole Osborn
2021 Record: 6-7 vs. non-region schedule
Returning Starters: C Angelica Cortina, Sr.; 2B Maria Yoselin Bonilla, Jr.; 3B Terran Harper, Sr.; SS Incia Martinez, Sr.; LF Daniela Menjivar, Jr.
Key Newcomers: Taylor Platenburg, Fr.; Kendall Cross, Fr.; Jazmariyah Fontanez, Fr.
Outlook: The Titans will once again play a non-region schedule, but Osborn is optimistic that they will continue to make progress as a program. She has seen plenty of improvement over the past year, and is confident the team will take another step forward this fall, even with quite a few newcomers and first-year players.
Head Coach: Megan Robison
2021 Record: 6-13; third in region; first round, Class AAAAAAA state playoffs
Returning Starters: UT/RHP Kendall Smiley, Sr.; C/OF Saria Simmons, Sr.; IF Maddox Garcia, Sr.; IF Honor Morton, Jr.; OF/RHP Jayla Alexander, Jr.; 3B Mar Sternberg, Jr.; 1B/RHP Savannah Mees, Soph.; IF/RHP Maya Marley, Soph.
Other Key Returners: IF Sara Bombardieri, Sr.; IF/OF Nylah Pierre, Sr.; IF Morenike Bankole, Jr.; IF Lexi Boyd, Jr.
Key Newcomers: RHP/UT Sharona Huang, Sr.; IF/RHP Kaylie Zirger, Fr.; C/OF Saniya Simmons, Fr.
Outlook: For the first time in 26 years, the Wildcats have a new leader in the dugout and third base coaching box with the retirement on Dawn Marsh, and it's a familiar face to the Gwinnett softball community. Dickey experienced a lot of success as a player at Collins Hill and Kennesaw State, and brings an air of confidence to a well-seasoned Wildcats squad in her inaugural season this fall.
Head Coach: Jeff Johnson
2021 record: N/A (non-region schedule)
Returning Starters: 3B Eliana Chan Mendez, Sr.; RHP Julia Atkinson, Sr.; C Jocelyn Ramos, Sr.; SS Kimberly Meraz Fuentes, Sr.; OF Jada Wilcox, Soph.
Key Newcomers: 2B/RHP Adeline Hidalgo-Moran, Fr.
Outlook: The Mustangs have quite a bit more experience and depth than they did a year ago, with Mendez, Atkinson and Fuentes all having started at least three seasons. That development leaves Johnson optimistic that his team will be more competitive against its non-region schedule this fall.
Norcross Blue Devils
Head Coach: Hannah Beth Baker
2021 Record: 5-13-1; fourth in region; first round, Class AAAAAAA state playoffs
Returning Players: C/IF Lea Smith, Sr. (.345, 21 RBI, .538 slugging pct.); OF Addie Donahue, Sr.; OF Brooke Bailey, Sr.; UT Mia Obregon, Sr.; RHP/IF Leah Cohen, Sr.; IF Cate Sidey, Jr.; IF/OF Emma Sidey, Jr. (.479, .528 on-base pct., 20 SB); IF Reagan McCoy, Soph.; RHP/IF Sara Moran, Soph.; OF Lea Davies, Soph.; UT Kieren Shah, Soph.
Outlook: While last year's win total was a bit of a disappointment for the Blue Devils, they did make their sixth straight state playoff appearance. And with the talent level returning, led by offensive leaders Lea Smith and Emma Sidey, there's every reason to believe they can contend to not only extend that streak, but also expand their numbers in the win column this fall.
North Gwinnett Bulldogs
Head Coach: Amanda Heil
2021 Record: 30-5-1; Region 8-AAAAAAA champion; Class AAAAAAA state champion
Returning Starters: LHP Amber Reed, Sr. (25-0-1, 0.93 ERA, 215 K, 25 BB, 151 1/3 IP; .449, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 13 2B, 1 3B, 1.437 OPS); SS Bella Faw, Sr. (.378, 7 HR, 28 RBI, 10 2B, 34 R, .962 fielding pct.); IF Ella Janish, Sr. (.321); OF Landry Rabitsch, Sr.; OF Avery Fielden, Sr.
Other Key Returners: RHP Addison Miles, Jr.; OF/P Taylor Cohron, Jr.; OF/IF Nadia Glass, Soph.; C/IF Mary Grace Nellis, Soph.; IF Sydney Woyce, Soph.
Key Newcomers: RHP/OF Morgan Sullivan, Jr.; RHP/OF Victoria Na, Fr.; IF/OF Addie Pierce, Fr.
Outlook: Losing nearly half the starting lineup from a state championship might be a problem for many program. But when those include the 2020 Pitcher of the Year and 2021 Player of the Year (Reed), a 2021 first-team All-County selection (Faw) and three other experienced seniors, graduation losses tend to have less of an impact. And with the addition of several exciting newcomers, Heil expects her Bulldogs to make a strong defense of their state title.
Peachtree Ridge Lions
Head Coach: Jordan Najafi
2021 Record: 12-15, Region 8-AAAAAAA runner-up; second-round Class AAAAAAA state playoffs
Returning starters: CF Kennedy Harp, Sr. (.373, 9 HR, 22 RBI, 18 SB, .958 fielding pct.); SS Jaylah Jarrell, Sr. (.364, 4 HR, 17 SB); 1B Madison Jenkins, Sr. (.351, 3 HR, 14 SB, .928 fielding pct.); C Samantha Brown, Sr. (.304, 18 RBI, .969 fielding pct.)
Key newcomers: Alina Jade “A.J.” Muhammad, Fr.
Outlook: The Lions will have to adjust to a new coach in Najafi and a mostly new region this fall. However, given the return of four important starters, including slugging Super Six centerfielder Harp, those adjustments should be fairly minor as Peachtree Ridge hopes to build off last year's Sweet 16 finish and try to return to the state tournament in Columbus for the first time since 2019. One big strength for the Lions should be in the running game, where Harp, Jarrell and Jenkins are among several Lions baserunners who have a knack for putting pressure on opposing defenses.
Head Coach: Trent Adams
2021 Record: 28-4-1; Region 8-AAAAAA runner-up; fourth at Class AAAAAA state tournament
Returning Starters: LHP Olivia Duncan, Sr.; C/3B Emma Castorri, Sr.; C/2B Madison Pickens, Jr.; OF Tavye Borders, Jr.; SS Mackenzie Pickens, Jr.; RHP Emma Grace Williams, Jr.; 1B Adrianna Martinez, Jr.; OF Abby McKinnis, Soph.
Other Key Returners: 2B Kylie Gower, Soph.; OF Taryn Gibbs, Jr.; 2B Jenn Ramirez, Sr.; OF Emma Manders, Sr.
Key Newcomers: OF/RHP Caroline Stanton, Fr.; OF/IF Summer Castorri, Fr.; IF Kadyn Gabrels, Fr.; RHP Addison Rackley, Fr.; 1B Gracie Griffin, Jr.; OF/IF Izzy Rettiger, Soph.
Outlook: Throughout its decade and a half era of dominance, the Wolves have never shied away from a challenge. However, after being unseated by Dacula as region champs last year in Class AAAAAA, they face perhaps one of their stiffest challenges in quite some time. In addition to moving up to the highest class, Buford has been placed in a region that includes the rival Falcons, as well as traditional powers Collins Hill and Mill Creek, plus Mountain View, which is quickly established itself as a perennial postseason participant. The good news is that with eight starters back from last year's AAAAAA Final Four team, including Super Six shortstop Mackenzie Pickens, the Wolves seem well equipped to step up to the challenge of contending once again.
Central Gwinnett Black Knights
Head Coach: Daniel Boykin
2021 Record: 4-5 vs. non-region schedule
Returning Starters: RHP/SS Vlerie Bueno, Jr. (will graduate early in spring); IF Sara Rowell, Soph.
Other Key Players: C/OF Roxana Perez-Gomez, Jr.; IF Alana Elmore, Jr.; IF Journee Johnson, Jr.
Key newcomers: OF Andrea Hyppolite, Soph.; C/IF Pamela Grace, Soph.; OF Stephanie Valtierra, Jr.
Outlook: After make some strides against a non-region schedule last year, the Black Knights hope to take another step forward this year. To do so, they will need to lean on the few returning players they have from 2021 and hope some eager young talent with little softball experience, but plenty of athleticism from other sports, can grow up fast. So far, Boykin likes what he sees from the attitudes and willingness to work and learn from his young squad.
Collins Hill Eagles
Head Coach: Kali Turner
2021 Record: 9-17; fifth in region
Returning Starters: RHP Sydney Kolacki, Sr.; C Emma Acosta, Sr.; IF Monroe Oglesby, Sr.; OF Lana Moore, Sr.; IF Kam Munson, Jr. (.329, 6 HR, 21 RBIs, .600 slugging pct., 5 2B, 21 R, 12 SB); IF Bella Sullivan, Soph.; RHP McKenzie Jones, Soph. (.313, 9 RBIs, 11 2B, .478 slugging pct., 9 R); OF Camryn Williams, Soph.
Other Key Returners: RHP Kaitlyn Hale, Jr.
Key Newcomers: UT Mi'Shon King, Soph.; C Peyton Powers, Fr.
Outlook: Turner may be new to Gwinnett County and in her first head coaching job, but she's a quick study on her situation assuming the reins in a Collins Hill program with a long history of success. And she'll have a fairly experienced roster to work with, led by third-team All-County selections Munson and Jones, as well as some promising young newcomers to try and get the Eagles back to the state playoffs after a two-year hiatus.
Head Coach: Bobby Burford
2021 Record: 21-7; Region 8-AAAAAA champion; tied for seventh at Class AAAAAA state tournament
Returning starters: SS Emily Digby, Sr.; 3B Emily Stern, Sr.; 1B/RHP Olivia Howard, Sr.; C Lani Johnson, Sr.; LF Sydney Spayd, Sr.; 2B Izzy Forestier, Jr.; RF Sage Herbst, Soph.
Other Key Players: 1B/RHP Elise Poss, Sr.; RHP/OF Lyric Stewart, Jr.; CF Anderlyn Burford, Soph.; CF Kayla Dozier, Soph.; OF Quinn Lockhart, Jr.
Key Newcomers: 2B/SS Mary Faulkner, Fr.; UT Lianna Rodriguez, Fr.
Outlook: There are two rather large voids the Falcons must find a way to fill from last year's team that upended Buford as region champs in Class AAAAAA and made it to the state tournament in Columbus with last year's pitching ace, Maia Mumpfield, now playing college ball at Georgia State and former head coach Kelli Poff off to Seckinger to serve as athletics director. The good news about the latter is that Burford, who served as an assistant under Poff, ascends to the head coaching job to help maintain continuity to a program clearly on the ascent. As to the former, seven returning starters, led by last year's Daily Post Player of the Year and Super Six shortstop Digby and All-County third baseman Stern, should provide a solid foundation and plenty of depth both at the plate and in the field to give a group of talented young pitchers to grow and gain valuable experience and help the team make another deep run.
Mill Creek Hawks
Head Coach: Callie Daniel
2021 Record: 21-15, fourth in region, third in Class AAAAAAA state tournament
Returning Starters: SS Olivia Shaw, Sr.; RHP Lindsay Kline, Sr.; OF Ari Cox, Sr.; IF Cameron Wade, Sr.; UT Aria Davis, Jr.; 3B Ava Brookshire, Soph.
Outlook: After making a late surge to come within a game of the championship round of the Class AAAAAAA state tournament last year, the Hawks return a solid nucleus from that squad, led by a pair of first-team All-County selections in senior Super Six shortstop Shaw and versatile junior utility player Davis, plus an experienced arm in the circle in Kline. That should make for a formidable building block to help first-year coach Daniel, who has plenty of experience with success as a teammate of Duluth's Brea Dickey on multiple state championship teams at Collins Hill in her playing days, put her stamp on the program.
Mountain View Bears
Head Coach: Mike Cason
2021 Record: 13-16; tied for second in region; first round, Class AAAAAAA state playoffs
Returning starters: CF/LHP Ahmari Braden, Sr.; OF Bria Finley, Sr.; C/IF Sarah Anne Behunin, Sr.; OF Kendal Henderson, Sr.; SS Callie Shrope, Jr.; RHP Bella Teems, Jr.; C Riley Smith, Jr.; 2B Chloe Jones, Jr.; 1B/OF Sarah Kate Sportsman, Soph.; 3B Jahnnie Patterson, Soph.; IF/DB Shaniya Jeffries, Soph.
Other Key Players: RHP Hanna Evens, Sr.; IF/OF Monse Hernandez, Sr.; OF Kaylee Tullis, Soph.; RHP Riley Ashby, Soph.; OF/RHP Jordan Faucett, Soph.
Outlook: After fielding an extremely young squad and still making the postseason in 2021, the Bears return their entire roster back this fall. With all those players a year older and wiser, as well as stronger and faster, there is no reason they can't make a further move up the region standings and perhaps make an even deeper playoff run this fall, even in a challenging region like 8-AAAAAAA.
Head Coach: Paul Cromie
2021 Record: 6-16; fifth in region
Returning Starters: 3B CeCe Sampona, Sr.; OF Sydney Scott, Sr.; SS/C Samantha Fadely, Jr.; 1B Addison Willett, Jr.; 2B Ansley Idland, Soph.; RHP/IF Ashley Miner, Jr.; LHP/1B Hannah Ridley, Soph.; OF Madison Baessler, Jr.
Other Key Returners: OF Kirah Walker, Soph.; OF Amayah Wright, Soph.; OF Linsey Peevy, Jr.; IF Dallas Green, Soph.
Key Newcomers: C Devon Kokoszka, Jr.
Outlook: Despite having only two seniors on the roster, the Longhorns will be a veteran club this season with the return of eight starters from a year ago. They will take their cue from those two seniors, Sampona and Scott, as well as new coach Cromie, as they attempt to bring a more instense approach to the diamond and reach a new level in 2022.
Head Coach: Chris Polk
2021 Record: 5-16
Returning Starters: CF Tramaya Smith, Sr.; OF/IF Montia Edwards, Sr.; RHP/IF Hope Gunn, Jr.; OF Zoe Thompson, Jr.; RHP/OF Presley Lewis, Jr.; 1B/OF Ashlynn Canada, Jr.
Other Key Players: OF Melanie Jarquin, Soph.; RHP Amber Searcy, Jr.; IF Taelyn Phillips, Fr.
Outlook: The Generals will return six starters from a year ago, though they will still be a young team in terms of experience overall. However, Polk is hopeful that his youthful squad can grow up in a hurry to remain competitive in a dramatically new region.
Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans
Head Coach: Dave Martin
2021 Record: 11-8; third in Region 5-AAA; first round, Class AAA state playoffs
Returning Starters: C Karis Davis, Sr.; 2B Rachel Pellegrini, Sr.; SS Annie Ahmed, Jr.; 3B Sarah Thomas, Sr.; OF Kate Hidell, Sr.
Other Key Players: LHP Abbey Duke, Sr.; OF Cydney Merrick, Sr.; OF Kaitlin Griffin, Sr.
Key Newcomers: UT Sydni Hope, Fr.; OF/1B Margo Pritchard, Fr.; UT Anna Hidell, Soph.
Outlook: The Spartans are taking a major step up in competition this season by moving up two classifications to a Region 6-AAAAA lineup that includes a AAAAAA state tournament in Cambridge, plus other postseason participants in Kell, North Springs and Northview. It's a tough situation for a team that also made the AAA playoffs last year despite going through a rebuild. However, Martin's squad will look to leadership from the likes of Duke, Pellegrini, Davis and Ahmed as they attempt to continue moving forward in the process.
REGION 8-AAAA, Subregion B
Head Coach: Cam Crawford
2021 Record: N/A
Returning Starters: N/A
Key Newcomers: SS/RHP Malissa Felbaum, Sr.; C Kelly Feigen, Jr.; RHP/SS Addison Watson, Jr.; UT Sophia Melanson, Jr.
Outlook: As a brand new program, Crawford will attempt to build the Jaguars from the ground up, with a culture of hard work and excellence as the base of that effort. Despite having to start from scratch, there are enough upperclassmen with enough experience to help the new program be competitive from the start.
Head Coach: Mary Blalock
2021 Record: 27-5, Area 4-A (Private) champion; Class A (Private) state champion
Returning Starters: RHP/1B Riley Kutter, Sr. (13-2, 1.13 ERA, 99 1/3 IP, 182 K; .410, 11 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 31 RBI, 20 R, .560 slugging pct.); SS Christina McCoy, Sr. (.418, 6 2B, 5 3B, 3 HR, 8 SB, 27 RBI, 31 R, .663 slugging pct.); RHP/1B Macey Cintron, Jr. (8-2, 1.29 ERA, 70 IP, 71 K; .430, 12 2B, 8 HR, 40 RBI, .849 slugging pct.); C Marjee Williams, Jr. (.304 BA, 6 2B, 3 HR, 18 RBI); 2B Lily Nydam, Sr. (.246 BR 13 RBI, 16 R); 3B Sarah Wren, Soph. (12 R, 5 SB)
Other Key Returners: OF Anna Kennedy, Sr.; 3B Kate Adent, Sr.; IF/OF Chekka Salmieri, Jr.
Key Newcomers: OF Shayla Bahr, Fr.; OF Avery Tucker, Fr.
Outlook: Like GAC, Wesleyan is taking two steps up in competition this fall. In this case, the defending Class A (Private) state champs are moving up to AAA, and return several key pieces to last year's title to meet that challenge head on, including a trio of first-team All-County selections in Cintron, Kutter and McCoy. The usual challenging non-region schedule – which this year includes Buford, Parkview, East Coweta and Brookwood – and the leadership of a strong senior class, should make the newcomers well battle tested and help the Wolves ready make another deep run by the time the postseason rolls around.
Hebron Christian Lions
Head Coach: Brittany Lewis
2021 Record: 14-10; fourth in Region 5-A (Private); second round, Class A (Private) state playoffs
Returning Starters: SS/2B Olivia Brewer, Sr.; CF Natalie Helton, Sr.; LF Bryleigh Sissom, Sr.; C Sydney Samples, Jr.; 3B Morgan Smith, Jr.; 3B Addie McCullough, Soph.
Key Newcomers: Lauren Kyranakis, Fr.; Sarah Durah, Fr.; Britt Sissom, Fr.; Reagan Eve, Fr.; Jaycee Thornhill, Fr.; Giana Barahona, Fr.
Outlook: Lewis assumes the coaching reins and inherits a Lions program in pretty good shape with a run of four straight postseason appearances, and six returning starters from last year's playoff team. So her main goal will be building that winning culture even more, and she appears to have a good blend of talent, youthful enthusiasm and experience to do so.
Providence Christian Storm
Head Coach: Preston Smith
2021 Record: 4-15; sixth in Region 5-A (Private); first round, Class A (Private) state playoffs
Returning Starters: C/IF Anna Reeves, Sr.; IF Lindsay Mosley, Jr.; RHP/IF Katie Perry, Soph.
Other Key Players: OF Nicole Wieczynski, Jr.
Key Newcomers: IF Catherine Hauck, Fr.; C/IF Kali Rosbury, Fr.; UT Carly Stutzman, Fr.
Outlook: Though only managing four wins last year, the Storm did make the playoffs in Class A (Private) for the first time since 2016. And despite returning only three starters from that team, Smith is very excited about the talent level as his team, which he says is “... more talent than we've had in several years” faces a new challenge in moving up to AA this fall. Reeves, Perry and incoming freshman Rosbury could be a big key to the offense, while the Storm will look to others like Mosley, Wieczynksi and two other freshmen (Hauck and Stutzman) to provided the needed depth.