Lady Chargers Announce Fall Schedule
Georgia Highlands College Head Softball Coach Melissa Wood has announced the Lady Chargers’ inaugural fall season schedule. The schedule, which began Sept. 15, includes three NCAA Division I opponents and tournaments at NAIA and NCAA Division II institutions. They also scrimmage a fellow NJCAA team.
“We’re very excited about the level of DI competition we’ve lined up,” Wood said of the opponents. “We’re looking to get our name out across the Southeast and hopefully turn some heads while we’re doing it.”
Division I opponents will book-end the pre-season for the Lady Chargers as they open up fall play with a trip to Panthersville for an exhibition match-up against Georgia State. The Lady Panthers finished the 2013 campaign with a 36-19 overall record and a 13-8 mark in conference play. However, the Lady Panthers were ineligible for the Colonial Athletic Association tournament due to their transition to the Sun Belt Conference.
Another Division I opponent will be Tennessee Tech of the Ohio Valley Conference. The Lady Golden Eagles are coming off a 22-28 record, but they matched an 11-11 conference mark and had a strong showing in the OVC tournament.
The penultimate test for the young Lady Chargers, though, will be the final one of the fall season. The team will travel to Gainesville, Fla., for an exhibition contest against the defending Southeastern Conference champions, the Florida Lady Gators. “Playing an SEC and NCAA powerhouse is exciting,” Wood said of the games against Florida. “None of the girls are intimidated- we’re just ready to get out there and show what we can do. It’s a great and exciting opportunity.”
It will indeed be an opportunity for the Lady Chargers to get their name out across the Southeast. “The goal for us is to get as many of our players into DI schools as we can, not just for softball but for academics as well,” Wood continued. “Florida is a great school and a great team, and if some of our girls can catch their attention that’s a huge plus for the program.”
Filling in the remainder of the schedule includes an NJCAA companion in Chipola College, who are coming off a 45-10 record in 2013. The Lady Chargers will play a couple of weekends to benefit cancer research, with a “pink” exhibition doubleheader against NAIA member Reinhardt in Waleska, Ga., before traveling to Lee University of the Division II Gulf South Conference for a Strike Out Cancer tournament.
Bartow County’s only chance to see the Lady Chargers in action at Stars Field will also double as the open house for the team. The community is invited to watch the team compete in an intrasquad doubleheader, then hang around afterward for a raffle and a tour of the facilities. Fans under the age of 18 will be admitted free.
Date Opponent Location Time
9-15 Georgia State Panthersville, GA 12 p.m.
9-15 Chipola College Panthersville, GA 2 p.m.
9-21 Tennessee Tech Cookeville, TN 2 p.m. (DH)
9-28 Intrasquad CARTERSVILLE, GA 1 p.m.
10-5 Reinhardt Waleska, GA TBD
10-12 Strike Out Cancer Tourn. Clevaland, TN TBD
10-20 Florida Gainesville, FL 1 p.m. (DH)