Back on the diamond: LaGrange High starts up slow-pitch softball team

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Slow-pitch softball was disbanded in 2009 as a high school sport in Georgia, but the GHSA revived the sport in 2016. Now, the sport is making a triumphant return to Troup County as LaGrange High has put together the inaugural spring season softball team and they are ready to get on the diamond.

“I think this will give a bunch of different girls an opportunity at the high school level and keep these girls engaged and active during this part of the year,” head coach Craig Mobley said. “It is exciting that Troup County is allowing us to have this team.”

The LaGrange High softball coaching gang is all back together. Mobley will be serving as head coach, like he does for the fall softball team, alongside assistant coaches Jim Reed and Madison Shelton.

Practice started on Tuesday for the Grangers. 

“The game is so much slower,” said sophomore Ta’Niya Taylor of the differences between fast and slow-pitch.

There are going to be some pretty big differences between fast-pitch and slow-pitch softball. Both players and coaches will have to make some adjustments to the way they approach the game.

“There is no bunting, no stealing and there are four outfielders,” Mobley said. “They are certain progression you will have to do and a certain height that pitches will have to be at.”

For the players who regularly play fast-pitch softball, timing will be key as they adjust to the pitching.

“Learning to hit that pitching could be a challenge, having to wait for it to come and time the swing right,” sophomore Harlee Overton said.

The team consists of 28 players with most of them playing on the fast-pitch team, but there are some newcomers as well. 

“Eight of the girls have never played or never experienced this before, so this gives the high school a chance to get some of those other kids involved which is the goal,” Mobley said. 

Some of the girls are just looking for a more loose and fun time while playing softball.

“We heard about it when they announced it over the intercom one day and we thought we would come out and play,” junior Abby McGill said

Others came out to keep in touch with the game of softball when they are out of the fast-pitch season. All of them are excited for another chance to rep the Granger blue and white. 

“We just want to go out there and have fun and play for LaGrange,” McGill said.

Overton added that she “didn’t have anything better to do” as she shared a laugh with McGill.

It will not be a long season as the team is scheduled for just four play dates in early March against Haralson County and Osborne High School. One will be hosted by the Grangers, who if they perform well enough in the region will find themselves playing in the playoffs. Almost 40 other programs across various classifications across Georgia will be chasing the state championship in slow-pitch softball. 

Regardless of where the finish, this is a great opportunity to get better each day at practice while maintaining a fun atmosphere.

“It’s going to be fun and laid back and we just want to enjoy these games and get better at practice,” Mobley said.