The girls of the Golden Circle open the 2013 softball season this week. Todd Wills provides a look at the teams and the matchups.
Coach: Elizabeth Collier
Years at school, record: 5; 75-61-1
2012 season record: 11-22, 6-10 in 16-4A
Last playoff appearance: 2011, area finalist
Key returnees: P/IF Raylee Smithart, Sr; OF Kelsie Triplett, Sr.; OF Katy Polk, Sr.; P/IF Sidney Kirk, Jr.; C Leeah Seth, So.; SS/2B Ashley Spence, So.
Key losses: Kate Cook
Analysis: The Lady Tigers return their top two pitchers, Raylee Smithart and Sidney Kirk ... Smithart was one of the team’s top hitters last season, batting .356 with seven doubles, three triples and 26 runs scored ... Kirk, who missed some time pitching last season because of an injury, is healthy after posting a 2.55 ERA ... she also batted .446 with 13 doubles and 36 RBIs and was named second-team all-district ... OF Katy Polk was Golden Circle Defensive Player of the Year after posting a .976 fielding percentage playing left field ... she also batted .467 with 29 runs scored and 18 stolen bases Ashley Spence is an outstanding defensive player who also had 17 RBIs last season ... Kelsie Triplett batted .368 with 28 runs scored ... Leeah Seth will start at catcher for her second straight season ... top newcomers include sophomores Jourdan Bruce and Jasmine Estelle.
Coach: Haley Harrell
Years at school, record: 1st year, takes over for Jim Owens
2012 season record: 12-10, 6-4 in 14-2A
Last playoff appearance: 2012, bi-district finalist
Key returnees: SS/P Steely Southard, Jr.; P/3B Falcon Thompson, Jr.; 3B/C Sydney Horner, So.; 1B/OF Rachel East, Jr.; 2B Hannah Chaffin, Sr.; 1B/OF Shelby Beamon, Sr.; 1B/OF Haven Cofer, Sr.; OF Lindsey Shuart, Sr.; 3B/P Lauren Miller, Sr.
Key losses: Haylee Schwartz
Analysis: Harrell moves over from Kerens to Blooming Grove ... Steely Southard batted .411 ... Falcon Thompson batted .413 and had a .324 ERA ... Sydney Horner had 19 stolen bases.