For the Long County High School softball team, there will be no easing into the 2013 season.
The Lady Tide open tonight at in a big Region 2-AA matchup with Toombs County.
Last year was the Lady Tide’s best season in several years, as they went 12-11 overall and 6-6 in the region. They also made the playoffs last year but lost in the first round to Bacon County, which went on to make the Elite 8.
Game time is 5:55 p.m.
Long County coach Brian Thomas has many reasons to be optimistic about the upcoming season. Nine starters return for the Lady Tide, with most of the team comprised of sophomores and juniors.
Pitchers Harley Dawson, a sophomore, and Taylor Poole, a junior, who both made the all-region first team last year, will see most of the action from the pitcher’s mound. Three all-region second-teamers are back as well: sophomore third-baseman Cat Wingate, junior first-baseman Brittany Smiley and junior outfielder Madalyne Flynn. Other key players this year will be juniors Samantha Garcia, Alissa Anderson, Kaylyn McEwin, Emily Hester, Hannah Golden and sophomore Makaylee Fowler.
Tonight’s opponent, Toombs County, went 15-15 last year with a 5-7 region mark, so tonight’s game against the Lady Bulldogs will be a good early test for Long County.
On Monday, the Lady Tide travel to Fleming to face Liberty County High School. Last season, the Lady Panthers had a 5-17 overall mark and fell to the Lady Tide, 11-3.
Monday’s game begins at 6 p.m.