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Lady Colonels softball hosts Adairsville Monday for season opener

The Cass softball team will open the 2017 season Monday evening by hosting county rival Adairsville at 5:55 p.m. and coach Greg Hight is eager to see the Lady Colonels in action.

“I feel like we will be competitive and contend for one of the state playoff spots in our region,” said Hight. “If we hit the ball and play good defense behind our pitching, we will be in position to win games. We just can’t beat ourselves with mistakes.”

The Lady Colonels will lean on senior pitcher Taylor Gibson who transferred to Cass from Excel Christian Academy. Hight expects Gibson to carry much of the load in the circle — especially early.

“She has good velocity,” said Hight referring to Gibson. “The movement on her off-speed pitches is good too.”

Hight also pointed to younger pitchers Haillie Owens, Macenzie Dougharty, and Holly Elrod as potential contributors in the pitching circle.

Those pitchers will throw to a pair of younger catchers that Hight expects to split time behind the plate.

“Madison Sheppard and Jaden Musacchio will likely share time behind the plate. They have both done a good job blocking pitches. I’m confident they can get the job done back there.” added Hight.

It is in the infield the Lady Colonels return the most experience.

Sarah Fox, who has also played some catcher during the summer and pre-season, will return to her shortstop position this year. Fox hit a few points shy of .500 with 24 RBIs in 2016.

Sarah Moore will open the season at third base with Alexia Najarro will start at second base with Mackenzie McIntyre at first base.

“Fox, Moore, Najarro, and Gibson have all swung the bat well this summer,” Hight said. “We will need their leadership this season at the plate.”

In the outfield, switch-hitting Kaila Carson will play centerfield with several players competiting for the two corner outfield positions.

The Cass coach pointed to last season’s top teams in Region 7AAAAA as the teams to beat once again.

“Carrollton, Villa Rica, Kell, and Woodland have to be considered the top teams in the league,” Hight noted. “We have the capability of playing with any of them, we just have to execute and keep our mistakes to a minimum. I think we’ll challenge for a playoff spot again.”

Outside of those top four, the region also includes Hiram, Paulding County, and East Paulding.

The Lady Colonels will play non-region games against Gordon Lee and Adairsville. They will also face Campbell, Sequoyah, Coffee County, and Sonoraville in the Allatoona Tournament, face a pair of local opponents in the Bartow County Championship Tournament, and will play at least four more opponents in the Gordon Lee SCORE International Tournament in the Chattanooga area in mid-September.

Cass was 6-20 overall last season and finished with a 4-10 mark in Region 7AAAAA.

Following Monday evening’s opener, Cass will host a region game with Kell Thursday at 6:45 p.m.

Lady Colonels roster: Sarah Fox, Maggie Collum, Holli Elrod, Mae Mae McIntyre, Haley Owens, Alexia Najarro, Madison Harrison, Taylor Gibson, Sarah Moore, Keturah Hight, Macenzie Dougharty, Haley Smith, Jaden Musacchio, Madison Sheppard, Tatianna Christian, Hailie Owens, Oshauna Finch, Kaila Carson, and Lexi Ellison.

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