TIFTON —The Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) softball team is coming off one of their most successful seasons in a long time.
After winning the Georgia College Athletic Association (GCAA) State Championship, they went on to compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Nationals for the first time in twenty years. They ended their season with a 41-16 record.
This year the team plans to bring out the same level of success as they did last year. Head coach Jennifer Walls has three sophomores returning to the team. The returning players are Braxton Hill, Courtney Savignano and Baylor Brown.
Alongside Walls’ veteran sophomore players will be 11 new incoming freshmen. Walls decided that instead of picking team captains, she will look to her sophomores to show leadership to their new teammates.
With West Georgia Tech ending their athletic program and dropping all their teams, ABAC received sophomore Kati Mills to pitch for the team. The departure of West Georgia Tech will not impact the ABAC softball schedule in any way during their 54- game season.
“Our fall is pretty rigorous which is preparing them for our long season,” said Walls. “With the new players coming in, we have a great opportunity to continue to be strong in pitching, hitting and defense.”
The season does not officially begin until Jan. 31, when the team travels to Clearwater, Florida for the JUCO Kickoff Showcase.
The team will compete in several scrimmage games during the fall semester against a few four-year programs. Two scrimmages are happening in September, starting with a game at Middle Georgia State on Sept. 14, and a game at Mercer on Sept. 21.
“I feel really excited,” said Walls. “We have a lot of versatile players that can play more than one position. I am very confident that we will continue to be successful and pick up where we left off last season.”
ABAC will host their alumni game on Sept. 28, where the current team plays against former players who played for Walls or former head coach Donna Campbell. The game will start at noon at the ABAC softball stadium and will be followed by a ring ceremony for the GCAA state champions.