An unusual part for the team is that there are a group of young boys in football equipment observing the drills because they will use the field for their own practice once the softball team concludes. Such is the reality of the 2013 season for Chamblee as they will use the softball fields at Murphey Candler Park in Atlanta as their home this season.
“This is going to be our home field this season because there is construction on our campus and we should have our own softball field in 2014,” said Keathley. “I still love Chamblee and feel like I’ve found a home here professionally and as a coach.”
The Bulldogs finished the 2012 season with five wins after posting victory totals of 15 in 2011 and 13 in 2012. Chamblee returns three seniors to the roster; shortstop Laura Kathryn Smith, who is the leading returner in batting average (.344) and RBIs (26) from last year, utility player Lanie McDougal, who scored 23 runs and drew 23 walks last season and outfielder Ayan Carter-Gussley.
“Lanie is an excellent player with near perfect mechanics who I use as an example to our younger girls,” said Keathley. “Laura is a smart player who leads by example and Ayan has lots of speed and has the highest on-base percentage for a returning player.”
The Bulldogs will also start freshman Alexandra Towner, most likely at third base. “She’s an excellent player to coach and takes everything in,” stated Keathley. “She has speed, takes good at-bats and is really going to help us out this season.”
Another first-year player, Kacie Lowery, will serve as the only pitcher on Chamblee’s roster this season. “She has handled the pressure and responsibility of being our only pitcher with a great attitude,” said Keathley.
Despite the obstacles placed before Chamblee, the team has optimistic hopes for its 2013 campaign. “I think we have a team that can make the postseason and we’ll see what happens from there,” said Keathley. “I have a great rapport with the girls and they’re going to put 100 percent into this season.”
The Bulldogs will return to action on Aug. 26 at Lakeside.