The Newnan Times-Herald

Sports

Local players help kick off college softball seasons


  • By Doug Gorman
  • |
  • Feb. 17, 2017 - 5:13 AM

The college softball season got underway this weekend, and for three players with ties to Coweta County, the start of the 2017 campaign was a success.

Louisiana State University sophomore shortstop Shemiah Sanchez, Michigan State sophomore shortstop Ebonee Echols and Georgia State junior outfielder Brenna Skalski helped spark their teams to wins over the weekend.

Sanchez started all four games for LSU during the Tiger Classic, helping them to a 4-1 record.

LSU started the season ranked fourth in the NCAA Division I softball poll.

Sanchez and her teammates beat Oklahoma State, split with Penn State and also knocked off McNeese State during the Tiger Classic.

Sanchez’s RBI walk-off single against McNeese State gave LSU the victory in that contest.

Through the first four games, Sanchez is hitting .500 with five hits, three runs scored and four RBIs.

LSU returns to action with a three-game weekend series at home against Georgia Southern.

Sanchez, who played high school softball at East Coweta, started all four years for head coach Franklin DeLoach. During her time as East Coweta’s starting shortstop, she helped lead East Coweta to four region titles.

Sanchez set 15 individual records, including a .439 career batting average, 177 hits and 133 runs. She was also named the Newnan Times-Herald Player of the Year.

Echols started all four games in the Spartans’ season-open tournament at the Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton over the weekend.

The Spartans beat North Florida, Troy and North Carolina State before dropping its first game of the year to Florida Atlantic.

Echols is hitting .357 with five hits, including a triple and three RBIs.

Echols played high school softball at Northgate for head coach Lisa Skelton and helped the Vikings win the Class AAAAA State title her freshman year in 2011. She also was named to the Newnan Times-Herald All-County team each year.

Echols and her Michigan State teammates return to Florida this weekend to participate in the Madeira Beach Invitational.

In addition to the Spartans, Villanova, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Southern Illinois, North Dakota and Robert Morris University will also participate in the tournament.

Skalski and her Georgia State team went 4-1 over the weekend at the Bulldog Invitational at Mississippi State.

The Panthers beat Western Kentucky twice, Stephen F. Austin once and split games with Mississippi State.

Skalski has played in three of her team’s games, starting two. The Panthers’ outfielder is hitting .250 with one hit.

Skalski played high school softball at Northgate and was an important part of the 2011 state championship team. She also helped Northgate to back-to-back region titles in 2012 and 2013.