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Excel Christian Academy softball in Model Invitational this weekend; other local teams prepare for s

Bartow Sports Zone softball

The 2016 high school softball season gets underway this weekend and locally, the Excel Christian Academy Lady Eagles will be playing in the Model Invitational in Rome.

Excel opens play in the tournament Friday against Pepperell and Cedartown at 5pm and 7pm. The Eagles are then scheduled to play Chattooga and Southeast Whitfield on Saturday at 10am and 12 noon.

The Eagles will be the first of the local teams to hit the diamond in an official game, although the Adairsville Lady Tigers are scheduled for a pre-season scrimmage at Armuchee Thursday at 5:30pm.

Other games early on the local schedule include Adairsville at Excel and Cass against Central-Carroll on Monday, August 8. The Cass-Central game will be played at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton.

The Woodland Lady Cats will scrimmage at Kennesaw Mountain Tuesday, August 9 at 5:45pm and will open their 2016 campaign at Carrollton on Thursday, August 11. Excel also travels to Gordon Central on Tuesday, August 9.

Cass plays at Kell Thursday, August 11, while Cartersville hosts Cedartown that same afternoon.

The first two weeks of early season games continues on Saturday, August 13 when Cartersville hosts Adairsville in a doubleheader at 12 noon.

New Excel head coach, Michael Adcock, takes his Lady Eagles into the Model Tournament with one of the school’s best ever groups of returning players.

Senior pitcher/first baseman Hannah Lee, a transfer from Cass, will join junior Taylor Gibson with responsibilities in the pitching circle. Three other seniors — shortstop Brighton McCollum, outfielder Lindsay Mauldin, and second baseman Eliza Baker — will be counted on for leadership.

Whitney Harris, a junior third baseman, and junior catcher Rachael Parrott are also key returnees for the Lady Eagles.

The 2016 season marks the first year of a new region alignment for all schools in the Georgia High School Association.

Excel will be in the 18-school Region 6-A that includes Bowdon, Christian Heritage, Darlington, Fellowship Christian, G.S.D., Gordon Lee, King’s Ridge, Morris Innovative, Mt. Paran, Mt. Pisgah, Mt. Zion-Carroll, North Cobb Christian, St. Francis, Trion, Walker, and Whitefield Academy.

In Class A, a power points system is in use to determine state playoff participants for both the public and private state playoffs.

In all other classifications, the top four teams from each region qualify for the state playoffs.

Adairsville is assigned to the 10-member Region 6-AAA that includes Bremen, Calhoun, Coahulla Creek, Haralson County, Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe, Murray County, North Murray, Ringgold, and Sonoraville.

Cartersville will play in the seven-member Region 5-AAAA with Cedartown, Central-Carroll, Chapel Hill, LaGrange, Sandy Creek, and Troup.

Woodland and Cass are assigned to the nine-member Region 7-AAAAA. Other schools in that region include Carrollton, East Paulding, Hiram, Kell, Paulding County, Rome, and Villa Rica.

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