The Long County Lady Blue Tide softball team had a successful season in 2017, finishing 18-9 and making the state playoffs for the first time since 2014. The team certainly have high hopes for 2018 as they look to make a big impact in not only Region 2-AAA, but in the whole state of Georgia as well.
Head coach Tyler Chambless, who enters his second season leading the Lady Tide, knows that his team is young with just two seniors - Bailey Harrison and Koria Thomas - but also feels like their youth will not be an issue.
“We feel that even though we are young, we still have good leadership,” Chambless said. “We have some girls who are vocal leaders and lead us in the dugout and talk it up to keep everyone focused on the field. We also have several girls who are leaders by example and go all out in practice, which leads to other girls following suit.”
Harrison, who has been committed to play softball for College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick since last year, promises to play a vital role for the Lady Tide in her final season.
“We’re looking for Harrison to make a big impact at the plate and behind the plate,” Chambless said. “She’s worked really hard throughout the offseason and has a determination in her that I haven’t seen in a long time.”
Chambless also noted Chante Thomas, a First Team All-Region in 2017, Trista Murphy, a leading pitcher who returns after a knee injury late last season, and Madison Giron, who has improved vitally since her freshman season in 2017, as key returning players for the team in 2018.
The Lady Blue Tide certainly had a great season last year as they finished 18-9, their best record in over a decade, fell just short of winning the region championship, and made the state playoffs where they fell to Worth County, who advanced to the semifinals of the AAA state tournament, in the first round.
Based off their 2017 success, Chambless and his coaching staff feel like they can make a big move towards competing for a region and state championship in 2018.
“The region championship is a big goal for us this year. We have talked about it and feel like with what we have returning this year, that it’s an attainable goal,” Chambless said. “We have also set the goal of making it to the Elite 8 Tournament in Columbus. We have the date that the tournament starts on the back of our team t shirts.”
The Lady Blue Tide softball team opened up the 2018 season on Saturday, Aug. 4 with a 3-2 loss to 6A Brunswick while having their Monday, Aug. 6 match-up with McIntosh County Academy rained out.