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Social Circle softball seniors usher family environment into softball program
Halie Richardson (12), right is all smiles hitting a single in the state title game on Oct. 29 - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — Between games at Columbus a few weeks ago, the Social Circle Lady Redskins were in a batting cage warming up. Keeping the environment loose were the players by playing senior Madalyn Spinks’ favorite artist Taylor Swift on a mobile speaker. 

Songs like “Speak Now” and “Enchanted” were blaring from the Lady Redskins’ cage with the players singing along. The Lady Redskins were doing this on their way to a No. 2 finish at state. 

“We were all singing at the top of our lungs in front of six random teams,” Spinks said. “We walked down to our field like that with our speaker and us singing. We were getting weird looks, but it hyped us up.” 

Spinks said how the family the team built — which she believed was on display in that moment — helped lead to a deep run in the state playoffs. Social Circle concluded a 26-8 overall season where the Lady Redskins also finished as region runners up in Region 5A-Division I. 

At the top of the family tree were four seniors: Spinks, Halie Richardson, Macy Langley and Harley Gardner. 

Richardson highlighted how the experience in Columbus her senior year was surreal. 

“I think it was cool how we lost the first game and then came back and made it all the way to the championship game,” Richardson said.

Macy 1
Macy Langley (5) gets a hit in the state tournament in Columbus. - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

However, Langley mentioned how the beginning of their careers wasn’t so glamorous, but the tides quickly changed. 

“Our freshman year was a rebuilding year and it was a struggle,” Langley said. “But then, whenever we started working together and had more girls wanting to play in the program, we got a lot better because we pushed ourselves and each other.” 

Spinks agreed by saying the culture of the program was different four seasons ago than it was this year. 

“My freshman year, it was more like we wanted each other’s spots so we wanted each other to fail so we could succeed,” Spinks said. “This year, we really cared about each other. We didn’t fight for spots because we knew if the coach wanted us out there, he’d put us out there. But right now, my best friend is out there, so I’m going to cheer for her no matter what happens.” 

Another factor into the four seniors’ time at Social Circle was seemingly a revolving door of coaches. In their four years playing softball, the seniors had three head coaches to play for. 

Current head coach Chris Davis was happy with how the senior group responded to his addition to the program. 

“When a new coach comes in, so much is on the seniors,” Davis said. “Will they accept the new guy? Because if they don’t, then you could have a program that is just in turmoil for a year. The fact that they accepted me made the team stronger and better.”  

Through it all, though, this class leaves Social Circle with a region championship (2021), two region runners up (2020, 2022) and back-to-back seasons with a top four finish in Columbus (2021) followed by being this year’s state runners up. 

Gardner believes Social Circle softball showed what the program is all about. 

“I feel like softball at Social Circle is an underdog,” Gardner said. “And with us making it deep into Columbus two years in a row just proves that we’re a good softball team.” 

Madalyn Spinks (14), above, pitched two games for Social Circle in Columbus. - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

Now, even though they will never again wear a Social Circle softball jersey, all four years were certain that they will leave the program in good hands with the underclassmen. 

Spinks alluded to the returning players’ potential she sees in them. 

“The sky’s the limit for these girls,” Spinks said. “Even for the freshmen. Oh my gosh, they’re fantastic. I know what they’ve got is a fantastic team.” 

But Langley believes she and her counterparts’ success the past four seasons has opened many peoples’ eyes to Social Circle softball. 

And, now, she is hopeful that the next generation of players can carry the winning tradition forward. 

“Going deep in the playoffs, it puts a target on next year’s team,” Langley said. “Opponents are going to be like, ‘They came back from losing the first game in Columbus and made it to runner up in the state.’ So, they’re going to carry that target from now on.”