It’s time to play ball.
A new softball season has arrived, with Callaway, LaGrange and Troup all getting set to hit the field for the first time.
While the season won’t officially begin until Friday, there will be a preseason game today, with Callaway visiting Troup at 4:30 p.m.
Callaway opens the season on Friday with a game at Northside, and Troup’s first official game will be in the Callaway Classic on Aug. 15 at Shuford Fields.
LaGrange will host Newnan on Aug. 13 for its preseason game, and it will also open its season in the Callaway Classic on Aug. 15.
Callaway is heading into a new season with a new head coach at the helm.
Ashley Summerlin, who has been an assistant coach in baseball for several years, is taking over the softball program following the departure of Nick Drescher.
Callaway’s first official preseason practice session was on Friday, although Summerlin has been working with the team for most of the summer.
Summerlin said everything is going well so far.
“They’re here, they’re committed. They’re doing well,” Summerlin said. “Everybody’s doing a good job.”
Troup, meanwhile, is heading into its fourth season under head coach Blair Shimandle.
The Lady Tigers have improved their win total each season under Shimandle, and they finished 13-13 a year ago.
Troup has to replaced some gifted seniors from last year’s team, including Alex Duncan, who hit better than .600 with six home runs.
“We’ve got a good group of younger girls coming in this year,” Shimandle said.
LaGrange is coming off a 20-win season that ended with a loss to Northwest Whitfield in the first round of the state playoffs.
LaGrange is having to replace some key seniors from last year’s team, including pitcher Emily Anderson, who is now at Georgia Tech.
“It’s a different team. It’s a different team in a good way,” LaGrange coach Jan Jones said. “They’re a fun group.”
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 (ext. 232) or on Twitter @lagrangesports