The Piedmont Academy varsity fast-pitch softball team is set for to defend its title.
The Lady Cougars opened the 2021 season on Monday with a home doubleheader against Bulloch Academy at 4 p.m. The team will now host Brentwood on Aug. 5.
Piedmont is the defending GISA Class AA champion and has been preparing for the new season for several weeks under the direction of coach John Johnson. The coach said a solid nucleus of players return along with some talented newcomers.
Piedmont defeated Briarwood in the championship series last season. Johnson said he expects the Lady Buccaneers to be strong once more in 2021.
The 2021 team returns several key statistical leaders for the 2021 season. All-Region players Fleming Sealy, Maddie Waddleton, Averi Camp and Emily McEwen all are back for another championship run. Camp and McEwen were also named to the All-State team last season.
Camp had an earned run average of 2.33 in the pitcher’s circle with 26 strikeouts. McEwen, now set for her junior season, pitched 48 innings with a 1.17 ERA and 22 strikeouts last fall.
Sealy, who will be a senior this season, batted .392 and scored 10 runs with 24 RBI to help lead the offense in 2020 while Waddleton finished with a .433 batting average and scored 17 runs while driving in 21. Waddleton will also be a senior this school year.
Abby Arnold is also set for her junior season while sophomores will include McKayla Teagan Satterfield, Ellie McCart, Bailey Mobley, Riley Israel and McKayla Arnold.
Freshmen for the Lady Cougars will include Teagan Hinson, Kylee Keck, Carlie Wilbanks, Bailey Bernard, Marissa Holder and Ava Kitchen.
Johnson said the team has a strong roster and there have been some good battles in preseason practice for starting positions on the field. Piedmont played a 10-inning scrimmage against John Milledge Academy last week.
“We made a few mistakes in the first inning but that was to be expected,” Johnson said. “All in all, it was a solid performance.”