FPD Softball Ready For Playoffs

The seventh ranked FPD Softball Team has been preparing for almost two weeks since the conclusion of their regular season schedule that placed them in the top 8 of the GHSA Power Rankings earning them a first round bye. They’ll host the 2nd round playoff series which begins tomorrow October 18th against The Darlington School Tigers from Rome, who swept The Galloway School in the 1st round of the GHSA Playoffs last week.

While some in the Class – A Private Softball community have questioned the legitimacy of the softball team’s top eight ranking in the power rankings with their .500 record, the team has played one of the state’s toughest schedules to earn their position and in the process replaced six seniors from the state championship team. Their opponents this season won 65% of their games and 10 of the 12, made their classification’s playoffs with FPD defeating half of them.  First year Head Coach Denny Bryant has been happy with his team’s attitude and commitment to compete from the first pitch until the last out and those two components has put this team in position to not only host a home playoff series again but also the opportunity to return to Columbus which would be the fifth consecutive trip to Columbus for the program.  “From day one of practice, our coaches have drilled into our minds that we have one thing to accomplish this season, Defend the “P”, said Senior Sadie Frame

While, the 2017 team isn’t producing the power numbers of last season with 38 homeruns they aren’t far behind when it comes to hitting as a team. Last season’s state champions hit .334 for the year and this team enters the playoff series hitting 326. Leading the team offensively is Junior Karsen Ochs, who is hitting .526 with four homeruns, 7 doubles, and 15 RBI. Other offensive leaders for FPD include Junior Moe Register (.395), Senior Sydnee Sconyers (.364), Freshman Olivia Parker (.345), Sophomore Abbey Surles (.304), Senior Sadie Frame (.300), and probably the hottest hitter currently for FPD is Senior Caylee Ann Sutton, who has been on an offensive tear at the plate over the last third of the season raising her average over 100 points. They’ll face Darlington’s Senior Josi McKibben who according to the Rome News-Tribune, “has been the workhorse for Darlington this season,” and Junior Kathryne Ledbetter.

On the pitching side of things for FPD, Ochs leads the way with 91 strikeouts, and has 324 career strikeouts. The other quality arms are Parker and Sutton who have thrown 92% of their pitches for strikes. They’ll face Darlington’s top hitters McKibben, who hits cleanup, Senior Catcher Ellie Gillis, Junior Centerfielder Sydney Seymour, and Sophomore Caroline Dingler.

FPD has had two weeks of intense practices for the start of tomorrow’s playoff series. “We are ready for tomorrow’s game. We understand what is at stake. Winning two games tomorrow or Thursday means we have just a little extra push towards heading to Columbus, however, we can’t prepare for what we hope is to come, we have to prepare for what is right in front of us, Darlington. We are confident in our players, coaches and the Lord that whatever happens, happens for our greater good,” said Frame.

The best of three series begins tomorrow at 4pm and is followed by game two 30 minutes after the completion of game one. If the teams a split tomorrow they will return Thursday for the rubber match at 5pm.