2023 season preview: The LaGrange softball team is looking to ride its young core deep into the playoffs

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, August 2, 2023

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LaGrange enjoyed a successful first season under head coach Craig Mobley last year, finishing second in region 4-AAAA, and finishing among the final 24 teams in AAAA a season ago, but this year’s team feels like they have unfinished business.

“We were not happy with how last year finished, and I think everybody was ready to get back to work as soon as last season ended,” said Abby McGill, a captain on the 2023 team.

LaGrange lost just four players from last year’s team with only two of them being regular starters. The Grangers were a young team last season, relying on a ton of sophomores and freshmen, but now those girls are older and more experienced and ready to lead the charge.

“I feel like we are better and more comfortable out there,” said Tatiana Dudley, a fellow captain on the team.
“We have worked on the mental aspect of the game, which is big in softball.”

The Grangers are still a youthful squad as they will have only one senior on the team.

The team wants to turn a tight bond into production and they believe they have the tools to do just that. 

“We have a few goals as a team this season, but one of them is to make a deep run in the playoffs,” said Hudson Wood, a captain on the team. “We know it will be hard, but we want to make a run to the elite eight or final four.”

The team has stayed busy over the summer, playing 14 scrimmages. The Grangers have learned a lot about themselves as Mobley still tinkers with his team.

“Coach Mobley really pushed us to be the best that we can be,” said Harlee Overton, a sophomore who was voted one of the team’s captains.

“He makes us believe that we can be successful as a team.”

Mobley is aided in this department by pitching coach Jim Reed and assistant coach Madison Cauthen, the head coach of the Gardner Newman softball program.

“Our assistant coaches are amazing, and they hold me and everybody accountable,” Mobley said. “We don’t run without them. I hold the title (of head coach), but they go beyond what is expected of them as coaches.”


Atop the depth chart at pitcher is Zoe Thompson, who finished last season 10-8 with an ERA of 3.4. She is coming into her own as she heads into just her third season at LaGrange.

“Zoe has the most experience of any of our pitchers coming back from last year,” Mobley said. 

Thompson was named to the honorable mention list for region 4-AAAA last season.  

The Grangers will have to make do with one of their star starting pitchers missing as Kaylee Foster is still recovering from a knee injury. The hope is that she will be ready for a late regular season push or the playoff run in the fall.

“She has an opportunity and possibility to get cleared sometime in August or September,” Mobley said.  

Her absence means that sophomore Harlee Overton and McKinsey Gaddy, the lone senior on the team, will have to pick up the slack and see ample time on the mound. 

“Our pitching looks good so far,” Mobley said. “I have confidence in every single one of them.”


Tatum Nation started the majority of games at catcher last season and will likely see the lion’s share of game time behind the plate again this year. She hit .250 with 15 RBIs a season ago and was named to the all-region first team.

“Tatum has looked really good in the summer games,” Mobley said. 

Gaddy will be a key backup here and will likely see ample game time behind the plate as she proves to be a versatile player for the Grangers. Gaddy hit over .300 with nine RBIs in a limited role off the bench last season.

“Mackenzie will play some games back there too,” Mobley said.

Tatiana Dudley will serve as the third catcher on the depth chart.


The Grangers infield will be mostly unchanged this season. When Thompson or Foster is on the mound, the infield will be completely unchanged from last season with Carolyne Garcia, Tatiana Dudley, Abby McGill and Kimberly “KK” Reynolds locking down the infield.

“If I had a game today the infield would not be any different that last year’s, but there are some pieces that could change spending on who is on the mound,” Mobley said. “If Tatiana comes in to pitch, our infield is going to look different.

“At times it will look different.”

Garcia, a junior, is set to start at first base once again this season. She was named to the all-region first team for her performances last year. She hit a whopping .400 while leading the team in home runs with four and finishing tied for second on the team in RBIs with 25.

Joining her in the infield will be juniors Dudley, the second baseman, and McGill, the shortstop, who make quite the pair in the middle of the infield. 

Dudley hit .314 with nine RBIs and was named to the second team all-region last year as a utility player despite missing some games. She is expected to take a jump forward as a junior.

McGill was also named to the all-region second team a season ago as she hit .305 with 17 RBIs and led the team with 21 stolen bases. 

Reynolds will start at third base again this year and has been working her tail off this summer to improve upon a stellar sophomore campaign.

Reynolds had the most plate appearances last season of any returning player (89) and hit .371 while leading the team in RBIs (29) and runs scored (34). She also finished second on the team with two home runs and 17 stolen bases. 

Shelby Siggers will be a valuable utility player for the Grangers and will likely see time in the infield. She got a lot of experience as a freshman last year and hit over .300. When not in the field, she could see time as the designated hitter. 


The outfield is the only area that the Grangers suffered any real turnover at. Gone are all-region players Kaylee Bryant and Kaimarie Turner. Bryant played a ton of ball in the outfield but was a true utility player. Her bat will be hard to replace as she hit .387 with 25 RBIs and 21 runs scored. Turner played sparingly but hit .393 in 36 at-bats. 

Luckily, the Grangers will be able to call upon Harlee Overton and Hudson Wood, who made the all-region second team and first teams, respectively. Overton hit .296 with 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored and will have more responsibility placed on her shoulders this season. Wood led the team in batting average (.410) and on base percentage (.484) while knocking in 23 runs and scoring 33 of her own. She led the team in extra base hits with 12 doubles, three triples and three home runs. 

“Harlee and Hudson have played a lot for us in the outfield,” Mobley said. “They are returning players with a lot of big game experience.”

Callaway transfer Jasia Swanson has made the center field position her own. The junior hit .321 with eight RBIs and nine runs in 15 games with the Cavaliers last season. 

When does it start:

The Grangers will play Bowdon at the Callaway Classic at Shuford Fields on Friday.