Head Riverview softball coach Jeff Compton seemed excited about starting the upcoming 2011 campaign.
Despite returning only four players from last year’s team, the Lady Eagles have responded well at practice, according to Compton.
"Our girls have really stepped it up," Compton said. "They have worked hard in preparation for this season. Each player has done what they’re supposed to do at practice and I feel we have a great team chemistry."
Practicing last week in extremely hot temperatures slowed development down a little. Riverview had to cancel practice last Friday afternoon because of the weather, according to Compton.
"The weather and heat index has put us off in getting ready to play, but I think we will be alright," he said.
The Lady Eagle softball team opened its season yesterday against cross-county rival Dawson County Middle School at Riverview.
Scores were unavailable at press time.
Riverview has two games coming up within the next week. The team will host Pickens County Middle School at 5 p.m. Friday before traveling for a 5 p.m. game Tuesday against Clear Creek in Ellijay.
Four players return from last year’s squad: Heather Brady, MaKaylee Kelley, Tabitha Morrison and Katelyn Simpson.
"Without a doubt these four players have really been our leaders at practice so far," Compton said.
Morrison will be the everyday pitcher for the Lady Eagles. The left-handed thrower has looked sharp from the mound.
"Tabitha has looked very good throwing the ball," Compton said. "She has really stepped up, even though pitching is not her primary position."
Catching for Riverview will be Heather Brady.
"Heather has worked very hard and has come a long way since last season. We look forward to her having a great year behind the plate," he said.
Compton also said that MaKaylee Kelley has made a tremendous improvement since last season. Kelley will play one of the infield positions for the Lady Eagles.
Katelyn Simpson can also play a variety of positions for the Lady Eagles.
"We have had to move some players from their normal positions that haven’t played there before," Compton said. "The players have responded well and I have had no complaints about the moves."
Members of this year’s team are: Christine Eubanks, Bethany Gastley, Alexis Phillips, Allie Phillips, Katelyn Simpson, Lydia Watson, Hannah Yother, Tabitha Morrison, MaKaylee Kelley, Katherine Ryerse, Heather Brady and Gracie Burrell.