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Chapel Hill softball adjusting to new classification
by E. Marcel Pourtout
August 27, 2014 12:46 PM | 2184 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>Chapel Hill senior Darby Demarest waits for a fly ball during a practice drill in Douglasville earlier this season.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Chapel Hill senior Darby Demarest waits for a fly ball during a practice drill in Douglasville earlier this season.
The Chapel Hill softball team has become one of the strongest athletic programs in Douglas County, advancing to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs in 2012 and earning a region championship and another postseason appearance last year in Class 3A.

The Panthers have moved up in classification to Class 5A this season but the standards have remained high in Douglasville.

“We’ve had a tradition of winning and it’s still our expectation to compete for a region title and state championship,” head coach Mickey Harper said.

With the new region alignment, Chapel Hill already had played five region contests last week, compared to past schedules which delayed that many region contests until early September.

“It’s a big adjustment for us,” Harper said. “We’re trying to solidify our offensive lineup and move people around to see where they’ll be strongest.”

The Panthers have responded with six wins and an undefeated mark in region games through Aug. 24.

“We’ve swung the bat well and played solid defense,” Harper said.

The pitching staff consists of senior Darby Demarest and sophomore Ashley Morgan, who will also see time at centerfield.

“Darby will be our workhorse this year and Ashley is a tremendous athlete,” Harper said.

The infield is a veteran unit with seniors Hallie Rutledge and Quinn Mitchell secured at first base and second base respectively, while juniors Anna Aulgur and Ansley Diamond will split time at third base. Freshman Savannah Sykes has earned the starting spot at shortstop.

“It helps to have seniors in the infield because we mesh well together and help the younger players with plays and signs,” Rutledge said.

Senior Malynn Haven and sophomore Bella Caricari have rotated at catcher while junior Shelby Robinson has started at left field.

“I think we’ll go far this year because we have talent and experience,” Demarest said.

The Panthers return to action on Thursday at South Paulding looking to continue their winning ways.

“We can beat anybody on a given day,” Harper said. “I have confidence in the kids we put on the field will do a good job of performing together.”

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