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Experienced, talented Lady Tide excited for season
K Estill and H Dawson picture provided
All-Region 2-AA team members Katie Estill (second team) and Harley Dawson (first team) return this year to help Long County softball team try to improve on a 2013 season in which the Lady Tide went 14-13 and made the state playoffs. - photo by Photo provided.

The 2013 season was a successful one for the Long County High School softball team.
The Lady Tide won 14 games, including 10 in Region 2-AA, and made the state playoffs. And they did all that without having a single senior on the team.  
Being young, the team surprised some of the stronger teams in the region last year with their talent. This year, that won’t be the case as the team brings back seven seniors. In addition, the team has a bench full of quality underclassmen.
“We are very excited about this upcoming season,” Long County head coach Brian Thomas said. “We’re returning nine starters from last season, with all three pitchers returning … we have confidence in ourselves that this season will be very special.”
Five players whom Thomas will be expecting to pick up where they left off last year are juniors Harley Dawson and Katie Estill and seniors Taylor Poole, Samantha Garcia and Caitlin Wingate. Dawson was selected to All-Region first team as a pitcher last year, while Estill made the second team as an outfielder. Poole, Garcia and Wingate earned honorable mention.
With Dawson anchoring the pitcher’s mound, the Lady Tide will be hard to beat no matter who they play. But Long County’s pitching staff has a lot of depth this year, with Wingate and senior Emily Hester also expected to see a lot of action.
Kaylyn McEwin, Madalyne Flynn, Alyssa Anderson and Brittney Smiley also are expected to be key players this season. Faith Morris and Makaylee Fowler are moving up from the junior-varsity team, and freshmen Rylie Poppell and Hailey Hendrix may see some varsity action. Thomas said his team has been working hard all summer, playing nearly 20 games and working out in the weight room. Their first real test will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday when they host Brunswick in a scrimmage.

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