Finishing the 2012 season with a 13-14 record, the Lady ’Canes made it to the first round of the state tournament, but lost the series 2-0 to Jackson County. This loss, according to head coach Rick Holsomback, gave the girls their goals for this season.
“The girls’ goal is to go to the Elite Eight. I think we can get there. The team that beat us made it [to the Elite Eight] and Ringgold made it to the finals from our region. They got a good taste of the playoffs and now they want more,” said Holsomback.
Last year’s goal was to make it to state and, since they accomplished that, Holsomback is hopeful the team will reach their new goal as well.
While the team participated in two camps this summer, Holsomback said workouts have been difficult due to travel ball leagues preventing players from attending high school workouts.
However, Holsomback said he has a plan in place for the week prior to the game to get a lot of reps in and make sure the girls are prepared to play.
Three of the Lady ’Canes made the Georgia Dugout Club’s Elite 80 this summer as well – pitcher Annalyn Yantis, centerfield Hunter Irvin and utility player Kailah Rain.
Holsomback said this season there will be a lot of competition for playing time as he anticipates having around 20 girls coming out for the team.
Sophomore catcher Kennedy Bailey, sophomore third and first baseman Michaela Crowe, junior shortstop Annie Holsomback, junior first baseman and leftfielder Mallory Jackson, freshman pitcher and first baseman Tara Mathis, freshman third baseman Madison McKinney and freshman centerfielder Molly Wilson were named by Holsomback as the team’s key players.
In order for the Lady ’Canes to accomplish their goal this season, Holsomback said his team has to have good pitching and everyone has to understand their roles and do their jobs.
“I’m looking to see the girls improve and have a better seeding going into the playoffs, one game at a time,” he said.