High School Softball
East Coweta, Newnan set to renew rivalry
by Doug Gorman
It's only the week of Labor Day, but when East Coweta and Newnan take the field tonight in Sharpsburg at 6 p.m., the winner will gain early control of the road to a Region 3-AAAAAA title.
'The way our region is, the winner of this game will probably be hosting the other for the region title next month, that is something we have talked to our girls about,' said East Coweta head coach Franklin Deloach said.
Newnan head coach Carrie Gilmore agrees there is plenty riding on this game.
'We know that it will determine who host the region tournament,' she said. 'We would love it to be us.'
East Coweta comes into the home contest with a 6-2 overall record and a 1-0 mark in Region 3-AAAAAA play.
Newnan enters the contest at 4-3 overall and 1-0 in the region.
Neither has yet to be tested in 3-AAAAAA.
East Coweta rolled past Tri- Cities 15-0 last week to open the Region 3-AAAAAA portion of their schedule.
The Lady Indians exploded for 13 runs in the second inning to pull past Tri-Cities in a game called after three innings.
Newnan picked up its first region victory against Douglas County last week with a 14-0 decision.
A year ago, the Lady Indians swept all three meetings between the county and region rivals.
Tonight's contest could come down to pitching.
Newnan's Tori Loveless brings experience into the contest, while East Coweta entered the season trying to replace Megan Chocallo, who was a four-year starter for the Lady Indians.
East Coweta will put the ball in the hands of sophomore Morgan Goree.
'I think the key for us is going to be avoiding free passes,' DeLoach said. 'We have to keep them off the bases. We like what we are getting from out pitching.'
Gilmore is confident Loveless can get the job done.
'Her teammates have a lot of confidence in her,' Gilmore said. 'She also has a good defense behind her.'
The Lady Cougars come into today's rivalry after knocking off Carrollton 6-4 in a nonregion game Tuesday afternoon.
When the Lady Indians take the field, it will be a week between games.
Both teams are getting support through the early part of the season from a collection of different players.
Loveless has shown her ability to keep opposing hitters of balance with her collection of pitchers, but she also has to help her own cause with the bat.
Newnan also has been getting help from players such as Chaycie Goggins and Lauren Ferguson.
Goggins helped the Lady Cougars open Region 3-AAAAAA play with three home runs against Douglas County last week. Junior Arden Jobe had a home run in a 12-0 win over Northside Columbus. Ferguson had a solo shot in the win against Carrollton.
East Coweta comes into the rivalry with its own collection players who are contributing in different ways.
Maggie Morrow has displayed plenty of power at times this year, hitting home runs against Tri-Cities.
Newnan hasn't beaten East Coweta in several attempts, but Gilmore likes the team's chances this year.
'The chemistry is really good on this team,' she said. 'We are holding each other accountable, and I think that will pay off.'