The Alcovy Lady Tigers started the 2008 softball season in good form last week in Griffin at the Griffin Diamond Classic tournament. Third baseman Amber Melton is a big reason why.
Melton led her team with seven hits, including four doubles and a homerun, over the five-game tournament to power Alcovy to a 3-2 record to start its season.
After dropping its first two games, Alcovy stormed back on Saturday to win three straight and capture the bronze bracket.
Melton's fast start has her poised to repeat her 2007 performance where she hit .325 with two homeruns and a birth on the All-Region Team.
"I felt like if I knew what I was doing right and if I am just me, I can do well," Melton said. "The team did very well too."
Melton played a solid third base as well, but her bat is what Alcovy coach Casey Bates depends on.
"We knew coming into the season we would have to rely on our pitching and defense," Bates said. "Amber was on fire at the plate. That's a good way for her to start the season."
Melton, a junior in her third year at the varsity level, worked on her game during the off season. Every summer since her freshman year, she has played travel softball.
Melton hopes to go on to college and continue playing softball. She hopes her skills will ultimately open up opportunities at the next level, but knows she will have to keep working to get better.
"I want to e-mail as many coaches as I can," Melton said. "My defense is okay I just need to get my bat around. I depend on hitting more than anything else."
The Lady Tigers open up region play this week. With two games in Region 4-AAAA in less than three days, Alcovy enters the meat of their schedule.
The pitching and defense have been there so far for the Lady Tigers. With the rest of the team having a slow, less than spectacular start at the plate, Melton will be looking to continue her hot start.
"I think we have a very good chance to make it all the way to state," Melton said. "If we can keep playing teams like we have and get all the kinks out, we have a very good chance of making state."