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January 29, 2014

Young ABAC Fillies start season Friday

TIFTON — Thirteen ABAC Fillies sophomores will step onto the softball field for their first regular season of competition Friday.

"They're about to see what it's all about," said Donna Campbell, coach of the Fillies.

Talk about a trial by fire. They open up with two consecutive days of doubleheaders. Friday, they play Broward College at 4 p.m., then Indian River State College at 6:20. Saturday are games against Santa Fe College and Miami Dade College.  Indian River is currently ranked as the No. 2 school in the nation and Campbell said the others are very tough. "It's why we go down there," she said.

Campbell has but three sophomores: Rachel Hill, Maiah Talmage and Lydia Kingry. If she just had Hill, it would be enough to excite her.

Hill is expected to be one of the top pitchers in the conference and already has a four-year school waiting on her, Palm Beach Atlantic.

"I can sum us up in two words — 'young' and 'talented.' We'll have some growing pains, but team chemistry is good."

She has quite a few south Georgia players on the roster.

Of the sophomores, Kingry is from Turner County and Talmage went to Lowndes.

The youth are a roundup of area talent. "I had a great recruiting year," said Campbell.

Melveshia Wright, Campbell's starting right fielder is a former Berrien Rebelette. Shortstop Lakyn Souter and pitcher Brooke Keen both graduated from Tiftarea Academy.

Mention of Keen brought Campbell to possibly her favorite subject in regards to the team: pitching.

"She has good movement," she said of Keen. She raved about Hill and Crystal Scanlon, then moved on to Taylor Boyett.

"She can bring it.

"This is our strength. I'm really excited about our pitching depth."

Then she jumped to another aspect that has her thrilled. "This is probably the fastest team I'm had."

She said she knew it was going to be a big transition for the freshmen, but she had faith it would be quick. The team went 9-4 in fall ball.

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