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Johns Creek softball off to strong start
by Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
August 21, 2013 02:13 PM | 1506 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Erin Gray<br>Johns Creek High School varsity softball player Victoria Swanson.
Staff / Erin Gray
Johns Creek High School varsity softball player Victoria Swanson.
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With the departure of three All-Region performers, Kara Langill, Courtney Jacobs and Jenna Restivo, from last season’s 17-win squad, the outlook for the Johns Creek softball team coming into the 2013 campaign was unclear. However, after a 3-1 start to this season, including impressive shutouts over Gainesville and Johnson, the Lady Gladiators are looking to have a breakout season.

“We have a talented group that’s young and has only three seniors,” said assistant coach Beth Spak. “We expect to do solid within our region and get into the postseason.”

If the Lady Gladiators hope to make the postseason for the second time in three years, continued offensive contributions from senior first baseman Victoria Swanson, who hit her first home run of the season against Johnson, will be vital to the plan. “Victoria is a consistent hitter who brings good leadership and experience to the team,” Spak said.

The offensive explosion — Johns Creek has averaged more than 11 runs per contest though four games — has offset the departure of Jacobs, who was the program’s all-time leader in every significant offensive category and hit for an average of .488 in 2012. Other performers have increased production, including junior catcher Christina Keyes.

“Christina has been a nice surprise for us because she has stepped up her offensive game up and is solid behind the plate,” said Spak. The coaching staff has also been impressed with the output from two seniors; outfielder Megen Wittling and infielder Marie Fithian.

Langill was the region’s pitcher of the year last season and her replacements in the circle, junior Haley Gleerup and sophomore Rachel Fletcher, have allowed only 14 runs this year. “Haley holds the reins in the circle and Rachel settled down in her game against Johnson and consistently gave us what we needed,” Spak said.

The Lady Gladiators will return to action Thursday at Chattahoochee.
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