Tifton Gazette

Local Sports

January 24, 2013

Softball season begins today for Fillies

TIFTON — The softball season for the ABAC Fillies has only just started, but Coach Donna Campbell is already excited for the future.

Wednesday saw her pick up two players for next season, Brooke Keen and Laykin Souter, in a signing at Tiftarea Academy. “I’m excited to have Brooke and Laykin,” she said. “I’m glad to have local players.”

ABAC’s players began practicing Jan. 10. After a scrimmage Wednesday against the semipro Xtreme Whippets, the season will start today when the Fillies travel to Clearwater, Fla. to take place in the JUCO Showcase. Campbell said about 30 teams will participate and it provides an excellent opportunity for four-year colleges to scout talent. One of the things she was most looking forward to, she joked, was “hopefully some warm weather.”

After trips to Leesburg for the Darton Tournament and Cochran to play Middle Georgia, the squad will finally have a chance to play at home on Saturday, Feb. 9 when Central Florida comes to town for a doubleheader.

Seventeen players make up the roster this season. Seven, Campbell said, are returnees.

At catcher, she will be deep. Nashville native and all-conference Bobbie Jo Royals returns and she expects much out of freshman Sunnie Sorensen. Pitchers will be Morgan Bell from Sylvester, Rachel Hill, Alexis Ricks and Nicole Peppers.

Infielders include freshman Annie Ranus, Kimberly Jewell and Tifton’s Karli Smith who transferred from Andrew College. Savanna Berkhiser patrols second base — “we expect good things out of her,” said Campbell — and Lauren Thrasher at shortstop. Of Thrasher, the coach said, “she’ll definitely sign on somewhere (to play at a four-year college).”

Outfielders will be Chelsea LittleJohn in left field, Jessica Jones in right and freshman Maiah Talmage in center.

“The rest of the players are good role players,” said Campbell of the rest of her roster.

She believes this team will exceed the accomplishments of last year’s, a team that finished third in the conference. “They’re a better team than they were last year,” she said.

She knows the season will be a long and tough.one, though.

“It will take us about 46 games to see how good we are.”

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