Here We Go
Lady Dogs preparing for tough Region 8AAA season
By Brandon Park
Morgan County's fast-pitch softball season will be in full swing Thursday when the Lady Dogs head to Madison County for the tournament known as the Lead Off Classic.
Morgan will take to the field this year slightly underaged, but not inexperienced.
Although there will only be one senior on the roster, four of the six starting juniors have been starters for the varsity team since ninth grade. "We have a good size junior class on the team this year," head coach Anne Stamps said. "The majority of them have been starting since ninth grade. That is a solid group."
The most frequently answered question by Morgan County coaches this year has dealt with the transition into AAA, and softball is no exception. Stamps said that with the tradition and competition of their sub-region, this year will be challenging.
"Between [Morgan], Oconee County and Eastside, in the last ten years there has been over 10 championships won, and that is just our sub-region," she said. "AAA is going to be tough, and our region is going to be real tough. Challenge is always good and I feel good about what we have this year. It is definitely going to be a big change, but it is a change we are looking forward to. We are all excited about it and ready to play."
Stamps added that squaring off with some of the regional competitors in past tournaments has given the Lady Dogs a slight advantage going into the new division.
"Because of the proximity, we have already faced a lot of the teams in our region," she said. "We have played Eastside a lot. Oconee County, we usually see them in tournaments. I have an idea about a lot of our competition from past tournaments so it will not be something that is brand new to us." The 2008 Lady Dogs is comprised of senior Andrea Ross, juniors Kimberly Banks, Lindsey Conway, Haley McBay (starting pitcher), Shelby Morrill, Callie Moore and Harley Lander, sophomores Ashlee Batchelor, Hannah McKenzie, Brooke Mealor, Allison Moore, Heather Sexton (starting pitcher), Brittany Thompson and Casey Young, and freshmen Shakarah Boswell, Alayna Bishop, Olivia Cochran, Andrea Benford, Katelin Benkoski and Racheal Shanklin.