Carrollton, GA – Optimism runs high around the softball diamond as the Golden Knights prepare for the program's final season. Third-year coach Monica Mills is anxious to get started. "We have more talent this year than we ever have and I can't wait to see what the future holds." Mills continued, "Although this will be our last season, I believe that we will go out in a big way."
Last year was a difficult one for the Knights. After winning 3 of 4 to open the season, the club struggled and finished the season 6-34 overall and 1-27 in the challenging Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA.) However, that season is behind them and Mills is expecting an improved team this spring. "We have a good group of hard-working sophomores returning and a great group of freshman who are exciting to watch."
Six sophomores are returning in 2019. One of the team's top hitter from last year, second baseman Avian Craft (Hartwell – Hart Co.) is back. Craft hit .274 with 2 homeruns, 2 doubles, and notched team highs with 11 runs as well as 11 RBI. She is joined by catcher Baylee Blaylock (Calhoun – Sonoraville) who started 19 games a year ago and hit .224 with 2 homeruns and 2 doubles. Outfielders Maddie Reid (Woodstock – Woodstock) and Alex Yarnall (Winchester, VA) also return. Reid batted .260 last spring with a team high of 5 doubles and 5 RBI. Yarnall was second last season with 8 runs scored. She drove in 4 runs and posted a .197 batting average. Sarah Henderson (Warner Robins – Houston Co.) pulled double-duty as both a pitcher and outfielder. At the plate, she batted .207 and on the mound posted a 0-1 record in 11 games and was 2nd on the staff with a 3.67 ERA. Also expecting to contribute from the mound is Sam Sneed (McDonough – Eagles Landing.) Sneed saw limited action a year ago, appearing in 8 games with a 6.39 ERA.
No fewer than 12 freshman will be looking to make an immediate contribution, and the success of this year's club will hinge upon this group. Many of them will see action this weekend when the Knights open the season in Cartersville at the Georgia Highlands College "Border Battle." WGTC will take on Cleveland State (TN) and Harford College (MD) on Saturday. The Knights open at home on February 22 with a doubleheader against Brenau University. GCAA play begins on February 26 at South Georgia State. Home games are played in Carrollton at Central High School.