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Chapel Hill Lady Panthers prepare for playoffs
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
October 09, 2013 10:08 AM | 828 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chapel Hill senior Darby Demarest warms up before their game against Alexander last week.
Chapel Hill senior Darby Demarest warms up before their game against Alexander last week.
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The Chapel Hill Lady Panthers finished the regular softball season with a record of 16-12, 8-2 in the region, giving them a spot in the four-team region tournament to decide the seeding for the state playoffs.

With the regular season over, Chapel Hill finished at the top of sub-region 4A-AAA, qualifying them for the region tournament that was set to start today. Also in this single-elimination tournament are Central-Carroll and Rockmart. The final spot will be taken by either Callaway or Haralson, but had not been determined before deadline.

In reference to the season overall, head coach Mickey Harper said, “It was pretty successful. We had some ups and downs throughout.

“We played pretty well and won our sub region which was the first goal…It’s kind of been a roller coaster ride,” Harper said.

The team faced issues with inconsistency this year, but Harper attributed some of this to the drastic gap in the level of competition they played throughout the season – exemplified by a 19-2 win over Coretta King following a 15-1 loss to Flowery Branch in a two-day span.

To prepare for the region and state competitions, Harper said the girls will work on “making routine plays defensively,” as well as focusing on “hitting the ball to all fields” against live pitching.

After the final game of the season, Harper named five players as the statistical leaders. Harper said freshman Ashley Morgan, senior Jordyn Hawthorne, freshman Bella CariCari and senior Hannah Austin led the team in batting. Junior Darby Demarest was noted for her pitching.

Morgan has a .460 batting average, 29 hits, 17 RBIs and two home runs. Hawthorne has a batting average of .393, 24 hits and 18 RBIs. CariCari has a batting average of .370, 20 hits and 12 RBIs. Austin has a .377 batting average, 26 hits and nine RBIs.

As the Lady Panthers prepare for the postseason, Harper said the factor that will determine the team’s fate will be how well it limits mistakes.

“I think at this point, the team that makes the least amount of mistakes wins,” said Harper.

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