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Aces Abound


  • By Rob Grubbs
  • |
  • Jul. 09, 2021 - 2:23 PM

Aces Abound

Emily Walker / Kristy Rodgers

Clockwise for top left are Newnan's Maddie Veal, East Coweta’s Jaliyah Holmes, and Northgate’s Olivia Cato.

High School Fastpitch softball is less than a month away, and 2021 is setting up to be a special season for pitchers in the county.

East Coweta, Northgate, and Newnan will all have elite-level talent in the circle this year. It will be a season where aces abound.

The defending Class 7-A State Champion East Coweta Lady Indians lost a lot to graduation but have one of the best in senior pitcher Jaliyah Holmes. She won 23 games last year and saved four others.

College scouts are in abundance whenever she pitches, and Head Coach Franklin DeLoach will have to lean on her even more as he looks to replace the nine graduating seniors, all who signed college scholarships.

At Northgate, first-year Head Coach Carleigh Baker can count on one of the best to lead her 2021 team. Olivia Cato, who has already signed with Troy University, was recently ranked the #51 high school senior in the nation by Softball America.

Not to be outdone, Newnan Head Coach Carrie Gilmore had a freshman sensation last year in pitcher Maddie Veal. She got 12 of the Lady Cougars 18 wins last year and had over 100 strikeouts. She was recently ranked 73rd overall in high school sophomores by Extra Inning Magazine and the 48th overall pitcher.

But there is depth as well; each team has a strong #2 pitcher on their roster. Hannah Stubbs from East Coweta, Kyra Aycock from Northgate, and Megan Smith from Newnan are all good enough to be the top starter at many other schools.

With the season about to start, there is one thing sure this year. No matter the game, there will be a quality pitcher throwing. It is going to be a fun season to play out.