The Charlton County Maidens fast pitch team opens up their season this Saturday when they travel to play Brunswick at 4:00. They will hold their home opener on Tuesday, August 6 when they host Irwin County in a Region 2-A contest.
The Maidens have just two senior players returning in Samantha Baxter and Jalees Murphy so some younger players will have to step up and contribute.
Coach Mike Baxter feels that playing slow pitch in the spring helped his team in regards to outfield defense and base running, and feels his team has pretty good speed overall. He listed Lanier County, Wilcox County, and Telfair County as the probable top teams in the region. Coach Baxter will be assisted by Tina Baxter, Rebecca Phillips, and Lindsey Mantz.
The Maidens must replace the pitcher/catcher combination from a year ago in Lauran Allbritton and Savannah Pollock. Leading the charge will be sophomore Emma Woolard, who saw some game action on the mound a year ago, and freshman Emilee Zetmeir will also contribute. At catcher, Gabby Tillis will line up behind the plate with Baxter being her backup.
The infield returns plenty of experience with Jalees Murphy at first base with Woolard serving as her backup. At second base Brooke Spivey looks to be the starter with Sydney Pevey serving as the backup. Javonna Dykes returns to play third base and will be backed up by Kylee Varnes. Baxter will be back at her shortstop position with Dykes coming on in relief if needed.
The outfield will be handled by Tiffany Rivera, Abigail Safford, and Peavy. Also looking to handle the designated player position will be Andrea Canaday.
While youth will be on the field, most of the starters will have plenty of game experience after seeing playing time last year, so hopefully the Maidens can make a return to the state playoffs once again.