The Women's NCAA Softball World Series kicks off this week, and the tournament will have a distinct Coweta County flavor to it.
Eight players from East Coweta, Newnan and Northgate will be on the diamond this week to pursue a national championship.
The Women's world series format starts with the top 64 teams in the country. The top 16 seeded teams are named first-round regional hosts and play in a four-team mini double-elimination tournament. The 16 teams that emerge from this weekend play in eight super regionals, which are best-of-three series. Those eight winners advance to Oklahoma City for the finals.
East Coweta alumni and Central Florida freshman Ashleigh Griffin had a sensational freshman season at catcher and DP. She was named second-team all-conference and to the all-rookie team.
The Central Florida Lady Knights (46-12) had a breakthrough season this year and are hosting for the first time. They welcome Michigan, South Dakota State and Villanova to the Orlando Regional.
Northgate’s Charla Echols finished another strong season that saw her 14th ranked Florida Gators (43-16) once again host in the first round. The Gainesville Regional includes Wisconsin, Georgia Tech and Canisius.
Out west, East Coweta’s Kelley Lynch and Lilly Agan led the Washington Lady Huskies to a 35-15 season and a first-round host. The Seattle Regional includes Texas, Lehigh and Weber State.
Newnan's Ansley Houston and the Clemson Lady Tigers (39-15) lost to Florida State in the ACC Championship on Saturday but still earned a host opportunity. The Clemson regional includes Louisiana, North Carolina Wilmington and Auburn.
The Auburn team that is headed to Clemson includes freshman and East Coweta alumni Kenadie Cooper. The Lady Tigers finished the season 39-15.
One of Cooper’s teammates on the 2021 East Coweta state championship team, Katie Taylor, is a member of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers (39-16). They will host the Knoxville regional and compete against Oregon State, Ohio State and Campbell.
LSU freshman and Newnan alumni KK Madrey finished the season 34-21 and will travel to the Tempe, Arizona Regional, including Arizona State, San Diego State and San Diego State.
Former Coweta athletes will compete on the field and coach in the dugout as well. A 2006 graduate of Northgate High School, Carly Wynn is an assistant coach for the Minnesota Lady Gophers ( 26-24). Coach Wynn and the team are headed to the Norman, Oklahoma, regional.
The regionals wrap up this weekend, and the super regionals begin the next. The championship tournament in Oklahoma City starts on June 2, 2022.