The Commerce High School softball team began summer league play last week in preparation for its 2013 fall season.
The Lady Tigers played games in Habersham and Franklin counties in hopes of gaining in-game experience for a large roster of relatively young players.
While the Tigers were defeated in both games, head coach Pam Canup isn’t concerned with summer league scores at this point – she’s looking ahead to the big picture.
“I’m just looking at this combination and then that combination trying to get everyone in at least two innings – batting, fielding and doing different things,” said Canup. “Some of the coaches are out there to win, but I’m just trying to get people where they need to be.”
Canup noted that the teams the Tigers faced played their varsity starters, while the Tigers opted to rotate in-and-out a roster of 28 girls, ranging from upcoming eighth graders to rising seniors.
“Three of our pitchers are eighth graders,” Canup said. “Usually when the middle school is playing, we are, so I don’t get to see them play very often. We have a couple other good (middle school) players, so it’s nice for them to get some playing time and for me to see how they interact.”
Commerce has 23 active high school players on its roster, many of whom are returning from a successful 17-15 2012 season, in which the Tigers earned a playoff berth.
After graduating only two seniors in 2012, the Tigers have plenty of returning talent.
Rising seniors Savannah Barnett, Hannah Crumley and Kaylee Partin will return for their final season with the Tigers. Other seasoned players Sydney McClure, Anna Flint, Jenna Thomas, Bridget Barnett, Mattie Canup, Rachel Floyd, Helena Kesler and Mary Green will likely return to the Tiger roster in 2013.
Canup said the Tigers are still working towards finalizing positions, but should have a good idea about starters when the Tigers travel to Carrolton on Monday, July 22, to compete in a two-day tournament in which Commerce will play 8-10 games.
“We played well (last week),” added Canup. “Once we get to Carrollton, I will be a little more specific in what I’m looking at. Some of the girls have played a lot of ball this summer, others haven’t done anything, so we’ll just have to see how it ends up.”
The Lady Tigers will host a scrimmage against East Hall on Aug. 6, before kicking off the regular season on Aug. 9 against Flowery Branch in the Lanier Point Tournament.